Fleet News

Baby Shogun makes debut

MITSUBISHI unveiled its new compact sports utility vehicle which will go on sale in the UK in spring next year at the show's press day on Tuesday. The 4x4 Pajero Pinin, already nicknamed the 'baby' Shogun, will take on the likes of the Land Rover Freelander, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 in the UK.

A joint design project for Pininfarina of Italy and Mitsubishi SUV will utilise Mitsubishi's 1.8-litre GDI engine, making it the third model in Europe after the Carisma and Colt Space Star to be powered by the unit and the first SUV in Europe to be powered by a direct injection petrol engine. It will also adopt the Super Select four-wheel-drive from its big brother Shogun.

Although the Pajero unveiled at Geneva was a prototype the final models are likely to differ little. Production of left-hand drive models will start at Pininfarina's new factory in Bairo Canavese in the summer with around 11,000 models built this year and full-year production likely to reach 35,000 units. Right-hand drive production will start early in 2000. UK audiences have to wait until late October to view the vehicle when it appears at the London Motor Show. Mitsubishi expects the Pajero Pinin to push its European sales up to 2% of the overall market.

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