The next-generation Mitsubishi Pajero (previously offered in the U.S. as the Montero) may move upmarket and may even be available with a plug-in hybrid variant, a Mitsubishi representative told Go Auto. He also said that it’s likely that a redesigned variant will be released only after three years. Part of the reason is the fact that it hasn’t yet figured out what direction the SUV will take.
By launching a plug-in hybrid technology from the Outlander PHEV, Mitsubishi is brought nearer to being able to meet more stringent fuel economy and emissions standards globally. A one-of-a-kind semi-monocoque body construction is used by the existing model, which was presented in 1999.
Meanwhile the upcoming model will be using full unibody construction to make it lighter and to boost efficiency. The next-generation model may also be given luxurious features but there’s no confirmation yet if there will be a Montero/Pajero in the U.S. that’s slotted higher than the new 2014 Outlander.
Even with all the planned tweaks for the SUV, the Mitsubishi representative asserted that the next Pajero, being the brand’s flagship, will retain its “leading go-anywhere capability” and that “off-roading is absolutely necessary” for markets such as the Middle East, Europe, and Australia, according to GoAuto.
A Pajero or Montero PHEV won’t be unexpected since Mitsubishi has been pushing the electric and hybrid technology aspect of the brand. At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the automaker had launched the GR-HEV concept. The GR-HEV is a diesel hybrid truck that is powered by a 2.5-liter diesel engine and comes with electric motor, automatic transmission, and electronically controlled four-wheel drive.