The Mitsubishi Pajero is known worldwide as a though vehicle for both on-and off-road driving. It is therefore used in many off-road competitions such as Dakar. In order to continue racing in Dakar in the late 90’s a homologation model was required for the cars that participated in the race. That is when Mitsubishi came up the Pajero Evolution in October 1997.
Based on the two-door short wheel base regular Pajero which was introduced in 1991, the bodywork of the Pajero Evolution was much more aggressive with wide fenders, short bumpers that allow large departure and approach angles, a big rear spoiler and many cooling vents. Three colors were available; Sofia White, Satellite Silver and Passion Red.
Although the same engine was used as in the regular Pajero, the 6G74 3.5 liter V6 in the Evolution made 50 horsepower totaling 280 horsepower. The key contributor to this power increase was the application of Mitsubishi’s MIVEC system which is a variable valve timing system. The engine was either coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission (with higher gearing than the regular Pajero) or a 5-speed automatic transmission. As the weight was just under 2000 kilogram, this was not the fastest car in a straight line.
The strength of this model is for off-road which the suspension and four wheel drive system complement. The suspension had a full redesign giving the car a wider track and better performance in off-road conditions than regular Pajero’s. The advanced four wheel drive system had 4 different settings such that any road condition could be conquered.
Even though the Pajero Evolution was a homologation special, the price was not significantly more than the regular one. A manual transmission version of the regular 3.5 liter engine in 3-door high grade was around 3.2 Million Yen. The Evolution with manual transmission was 3.7 Million Yen. The automatic transmission added an additional 150.000 Yen to the price. In total 2500 units are produced.
Click on the picture below to see the Mitsubishi Pajero details and specifications per year such as weight, new price and equipment for each version in the Goo-net.com catalog.