By: IOL Motoring Staff
Like the new Toyota Fortuner that it'll go up against, Mitsubishi's redesigned Pajero Sport breaks the conservative shackles of its predecessor with a daring design that could prove to be polarising.
At the front we see a no-holds-barred interpretation of Mitsubishi's 'Dynamic Shield' design seen on recent concept cars while tyre-kickers are in for a shock when moving to the back, where the new SUV has long, vertical taillights that appear to drip into the bumper like wet paint.
Built in Thailand and based on the new Triton bakkie, the new Pajero Sport will be sold in 90 countries, including South Africa. Final timing is yet to be confirmed, but Mitsubishi SA is hoping to launch it around mid-2016.
This is a lot more than just a design refresh, as numerous improvements to the suspension, body mounts and a new engine have made it quieter and more comfortable, According to Mitsubishi.
New under the bonnet is a 2.4-litre Mivec2 turbodiesel engine, mated to Mitsubishi's first eight-speed automatic gearbox. The engine produces 133kW at 3500rpm and 430Nm at 2500 revs (up from the previous 2.5's 131kW/400Nm) and it's 17 percent more economical, Mitsubishi says.
The new Sport will be available with an improved version of Mitsubishi's Super-Select 4WD-II four-wheel drive system, with low-range gearing, as well as Hill Descent Control and it’s a better swimmer thanks to improved wading depth.
But it’s on-road ability that counts for more these days and to that end, the new SUV is available with a glut of new active safety features, including Blind Spot Warning, Forward Collision Mitigation and an 'Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System'.
The redesigned seven-seater interior has a more upmarket appearance, while also offering more in the way of gadgetry, such as a Multi-around Monitor, touch-screen infotainment system and electric parking brake.
More details on the local range and pricing will be released closer to launch.