Since Jeff bought his Montero this year, a lot of us have started to pay more attention to older Mitsubishi SUVs. The Montero is to the Pajero as the Toyota Land Cruiser is to the Lexus LX of the same vintage. The more Jeff has updated the Montero, the more he’s gotten my attention. It’s really a good looking truck and the powertrain has a rock solid reputation.
Mitsubishi announced that this latest version of the Pajero/Montero will be the last of its kind in Japan. Montero sales ended in 2006 in the U.S. The Pajero will still be sold in overseas markets, but no longer in Japan or the U.S.
In a very Japanese fashion, Mitsubishi released this video chronicling “The Spirit of the Pajero.” The Pajero/Montero greatest racing moments took place in the Paris-Dakar Rally, with many of them occurring when the race actually concluded in Senegal. The video takes a look back at three of its winningest drivers in the Paris-Dakar Rally.
From the boxy shape of the 80s to the curvier aspects of the late 90s and all the way to the ahead of its time SUV coupe of the early 2000s. All three Pajeros performed brilliantly in the dunes and off-road craziness that is the Paris-Dakar Rally. Porsche knows that their Cayenne coupe is a ripoff of the early 2000s Pajero, right? Don’t answer that.
The Nikon livery at the top is my favorite, but Repsol livery is really good too.
The video is mainly in French and Japanese, but with the glory of Google auto-translated subtitles, you can get the gist of it. I watched a couple of times, once reading and the second time drooling over the vintage Dakar footage.
Hopefully, Mitsubishi will be able to repurpose the model name, Shogun, that was the Pajero in Europe and Australia. Mainly because it sounds cool. For now, we haven’t lost the Pajero, but the large SUV is definitely becoming a threatened species around the world.
This video definitely puts Jeff’s license plate in context too!
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Here’s to hoping for more Japanese SUVs. If they’re not coming it’s fine, we’ll keep buying the old ones.