Having successfully acquired Mitsubishi last fall, the newly minted Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance is now drawing up a future product plan that will see closer integration of the three automakers’ respective lineups. The product plan is to be finalized by the end of March and is expected to include a redesigned Mitsubishi Pajero, a vehicle previously sold in the United States as a Montero.
The current generation of the rugged off-roader is both long in the tooth and in need of efficiency gains. It’s an affliction shared by a similar vehicle at Nissan, the Patrol, sold here as the Armada.
Speaking with Motoring at last week’s 2017 Geneva auto show, Mitsubishi Chief Operating Officer Trevor Mann said models like the Pajero and Patrol make sense given the strong demand for SUVs worldwide. But he added that the vehicles will need some form of electrification to make them meet tightening emissions regulations, and this will be costly to add. A promising solution he hinted at would be to develop successors for the Pajero and Patrol together.
“[The Pajero] is a big, heavy vehicle,” Mann said. “One of the things that we need to look at is what are the benefits that we could have in terms of sustaining that product if we were to work with Nissan—that is something we will be exploring.”
There was no mention of a successor for the Infiniti QX80, the current version of which is related to the current Nissan Patrol. There’s the possibility that a redesigned QX80 could also be developed alongside redesigned versions of the Pajero and Patrol to further spread the investment.
Mitsubishi has been hinting at a new Pajero since the reveal of the GC-PHEV full-size SUV concept at the 2013 Tokyo auto show. More recently, the automaker has launched the mid-size Pajero Sport, though sadly the vehicle doesn’t comply with U.S. regulations and thus can’t be sold here as a new Montero Sport.