Thursday, December 22, 2011

thE NeW PajERo

The new Pajero wont even be remotely related to the current Pajero (2nd gen Paj) or Montero (4th Gen Paj). Instead it's based on the Mitsubishi's Triton pick-up truck platform and is designed for emerging markets such as South East Asia, South America, Latin America, South Africa and Russia). The new Pajero will compete directly with the Toyota Fortuner (based on Hilux pick-up) which also caters to the same emerging markets.

The New Pajero Sport is already being manufactured in Thailand from where the SUV will initially be imported to India and the assembly operations will commence from early 2011. The SUV is expected to costs around INR20 lacs added Overdrive.

In thailand, the New Pajero Sport comes with two diesel engine options. The main one being the 4M41 3.2 DID commonrail diesel engine which is currently being offered on the Montero. the engine develops about 165 PS and 351Nm of Torque. Again, its possible that the SUV may come with the 4 speed auto tranny with a sports mode which will give the SUV a cometitive edge over its rival Fortuner.

In Thailand, the Pajero Sport also comes with a 4D56 2.5litre four-cylinder common rail diesel engine and the HM-Mitsubishi are mulling over getting this powerplant to India in an effort to keep the costs in check. However, this unit develops 140PS of power, 31 PS less than the Fortuner and will painly not be able to compete with it on Performance. To make things even more difficult, the 2.5 engine of the paj varient in Thailand is not offered with a 4WD and that again will be a problem for Mitsubishi.

So, its important for Mitsubishi-HM to take right steps and price the SUV right with right engine and drivetrain options. The interiors of the car (morelike Outlander) are a tad better than the Fortuner, and the Off-road capabilitites are also very good. Although, the suspention has been tuned for a soft ride and hence body roll and understeer is present while cornering, the Pajero Sport strikes a perfect balance between ride and off road capabilities.

The current Pajero will be rebranded as Pajero classic and will be phased out from Metros and sold in smaller towns where the 2nd generation Pajero has strong image. the Pajero's 2.8litre engine wont be Euro 4 compliant and hence will be phased out in Metropolitan cities.

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