O Mitsubishi Pajero completes 40 years of history in 2022, a rare event in the history of the world automotive industry. But the story of this story begins long before the first units were sold, in 1982. The beginning of everything happened in the distant year of 1934 when, due to an order from the Japanese government that was looking for large vehicles for military use . during the pre-WWII tensions, Mitsubishi Motors introduced the PX33 model.
Produced at the shipyards of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the model was the first car in Japan to have all-wheel drive. The model was also the first to offer direct fuel injection in a diesel engine with a capacity of 6.7 liters and 69-horsepower. The Japanese government canceled orders for the model and Mitsubishi kept the PX33 prototype in its collection, but did not build a car based on this design until nearly 50 years later, in the early 1970s.
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Already a concept car, the Mitsubishi Pajero was presented for the first time during the 1973 Tokyo Motor Show. The model was very well received by the press and the general public. Despite this, Mitsubishi did not make the concept into a production model right away. The chosen name refers to a cat called Leupardus pajeros, from the pampas of South America.
Five years later, in 1978, the Pajero II was presented as a second concept, this one very close to what would become the production car.
First Generation: 1982-1990
The final version was presented in October 1981, also during the Tokyo Motor Show. The first units began to be delivered to customers in May of the following year. The car had a three-door body and three engine options: 2.3 84 horsepower diesel, 2.3 95 horsepower diesel and 110 horsepower 2.0 gasoline, with manual or automatic transmission options.
In 1983, the brand introduced the 5-door Pajero with changes to the suspension system, which can be switched to asphalt use or off, as well as a third row of seats. From the beginning, Mitsubishi’s idea was to provide a car that combined the ability to overcome the most difficult obstacles on the road, with the comfort and finish worthy of a first car. In total, 660,000 units of the first generation model were produced.
In 1985 Pajero participated for the first time in the traditional Camel competition, finishing in second place. It was the first time for the Japanese team to participate in the conference. The success was so great that, in November 1987, Mitsubishi launched a special series “Pajero Camel Special”, limited to only 150 units, none of which, unfortunately, reached the Brazilian market.
The model had a three-door body, painted in yellow, a color that refers to the Camel cigarette brand, sponsor of the competition. It had several features such as a luggage rack, bumps, special mats and keys, an aluminum skid plate and wheels with a special finish, which brought biscuit tires more ready for the road.
Second Generation: 1991-1999
With more rounded lines, the second generation Mitsubishi Pajero was presented in Japan in January 1991. The model also had options of 3 or 5 doors, with long wheels and 3.0 V6 gasoline engines with 208 horse power or 2.8 Turbo Diesel of 125. horses.
Another great innovation of this generation was the introduction of a new traction system. Called Super Select 4WD, it allowed the driver to choose the best driving mode based on the type of terrain.
There were four different modes of use: 2H, which sent 100% of the torque to the rear axle only, better for asphalt, bringing fuel savings; 4H, with permanent four-wheel drive, ideal for good grip on the ground or even on asphalt during wet conditions; 4HLc, with 50% torque distribution to each axle and 4HLLc, with reduced torque, ideal for heavy off-road conditions.
The second generation Mitsubishi Pajero was the first to be officially sold in the Brazilian market, arriving at MMC Automotores do Brasil in 1991. In 1997, Mitsubishi introduced the Pajero Evolution to the market, developed based on the Paris total. Dakar rally, within the T3 category.
The second generation of Pajero was the most produced in the world. In total, approximately one million two hundred and fifty units rolled off the assembly lines.
Third Generation: 1999-2006
The new design of the monocoque chassis for a safe car was even a big novelty of the third generation of Pajero, released in 1999. The model received high marks in crash tests promoted by IIHS, a partner of NCAP.
The combination of luxury and durability was more subtle, with the introduction of more modern finishes in the interior, such as new upholstery options on the seats and on the dashboard, all the while maintaining the 4X4 DNA that has been successful since 1982.
Big and wide, the model offered two engine options: 2.5 and 3.2, both diesels, the latter with direct fuel injection, as well as the gasoline V6. The three-door version was used by German driver Jutta Kleinschmidt who, in 2001, was the first woman to win the Dakar Rally, an achievement that has never been achieved until today.
About 760,000 units of the third generation Pajero were produced by Mitsubishi.
Fourth Generation: 2006-2021
Unveiled during the 2006 Paris Motor Show, the fourth-generation Mitsubishi Pajero offered more safety for occupants, thanks to two standard airbags, as well as a new traction system, Super Select 2, which provided more off-road capability. , with active stability and traction control technology.
The engine was a 3.2 diesel with Common Rail technology. A 250-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 gasoline option was also available to customers.
Since 1982, the Mitsubishi Pajero has been dominating the rally which is known as the toughest in the world. There were 12 victories, a feat that has not been achieved by any other car to this day. Durability, technology and quality in its manufacturing have made the model refer to face adverse conditions such as sand and the temperature of the African desert, which can exceed 50 ° C.
There were many years in which the Pajero was the 4th out of the top five models in the competition, which established the line and also Mitsubishi Motors as one of the best and most comprehensive car manufacturers in the world.
All the power and versatility of the Pajero line almost immediately won over Brazilian consumers. Around here, the line is still synonymous with quality and became famous for several cars sold by Mitsubishi that, regardless of the year of production, are still easily found on the streets from the north to the south of the country.
The case of the Pajero Dakar, an SUV made in the image of the L200. Pajero Full, sold until last year, is the flagship of them all. The Pajero TR4 was, without a doubt, the best-selling and most popular Pajero in Brazil.
The legacy continues
The entire legacy of the Mitsubishi Pajero continues with the Pajero Sport sold in the country to this day. Pajero Sport is a vehicle designed for family trips, and it can carry up to seven passengers, which brings together the best in technology and safety, with an impressive 4×4 capability that allows you to take you where many other vehicles cannot. , with all comfort and civility.
40 years of Mitsubishi Pajero
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