Mitsubishi’s long-serving Pajero will be asked to soldier on for another three years at least, if reports out of Europe this week are to be believed.
According to industry paper Automotive News, Mitsubishi has confirmed an all-new Pajero for 2018 - in time for the current model’s 12th birthday.
A replacement for the current ASX should arrive sooner, with the report pointing to a 2016 debut for the next-generation model.
That will make the strong-selling compact SUV, clearly marked as a priority for the beleaguered Japanese carmaker, one of the few models in the Mitsubishi range to enjoy a ‘regular’ six-year lifecycle.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) versions of both models are expected to follow, with an ASX PHEV due in 2017 and the Pajero PHEV likely to launch not long after the regular petrol and/or diesel models.
Mitsubishi president Osamu Masuko told TMR earlier this year that while the the company "saw its future" in clean technologies and environmentally-friendly electric vehicles, it would continue to invest in more efficient petrol and diesel vehicles.
In Australia, the Pajero is currently powered exclusively by a 147kW/441Nm 3.2 diesel, while the ASX can be had in 110kW/197Nm 2.0 petrol and 110kW/360Nm 2.2 diesel form.
The new SUVs will draw on the look of Mitsubishi’s GC-PHEV and XR-PHEV concepts, although the more recent Outlander PHEV Concept S - a restyled version of the existing model - offers a more production-friendly preview of the brand’s dynamic new design language.