Mitsubishi Pajeros and the Dakar Rally are practically synonymous, with the SUV-based desert thumper dominating the grueling African desert race a whopping 12 times in the 25 continuous years the Japanese automaker has entered. As you may have heard, threats of terrorism canceled the Dakar Rally this year, putting the kibosh on the triple diamond mafia's plans for a record eight-year winning streak.
Fortunately, our amigos from South America have offered up their continent to be rallied upon and the new route will take competing teams across Argentina and Chile in January 2009. With a new locale, Mitsubishi has decided to slap an entirely new body on its dune hopper, one based on Lancer Sportback.
Unlike the Lancer Sportback, the MRX09 will be powered by a 3.0L turbo V6 diesel churning out 190kW and 650Nm, which is funneled to a full-time 4WD system with limited-slip center diff via a 5-speed sequential manual transmission. Weighing in at 1900kg with a tube frame and carbon fiber bodywork, the MRX09 looks like a koala with 'roid rage.