Already on sale in Asian markets, the new 4×4 looks set to arrive in the UK in early of 2018; previous-generation car axed in 2006
The seven-seat model, which is already on sale in Asia as the Pajero Sport, is currently going through the final stages of UK homologation.
«We expect to complete those tests shortly and then we just have to present the data to the engineers in Japan to ratify it,» said brand managing director, Lance Bradley.
The large SUV will be sold here exclusively with a 2.4-litre diesel engine that develops 179bhp and 317lb ft. This will be mated to a new eight-speed automatic gearbox and Mitsubishi’s Super Select 4WD II four-wheel drive system, which can operate in either two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive mode.
Bradley expects the Shogun Sport, which is based on the L200‘s platform, to become one of the brand’s biggest sellers, adding around 3000-4000 sales to its annual figures. This would rank it behind the Outlander PHEV (which is predicted to attract 11,000 sales this year) and the new Eclipse Cross, which is also due for launch next January.
Two specs will be available from launch, with hill descent assistance, trailer start assist,, hill start assist and an off-road traction control, with multiple drive modes to suit different terrains, as standard, as well as leather upholstery, keyless entry and push-button start.
«The Eclipse could actually overtake the Outlander,» said Bradley, «because it’s a much more mainstream model and will get a range of petrol, diesel and hopefully plug-in hybrid drivetrains.»
The pictured Shogun Sport was spotted by Indianautosblog late last year at Twickenham Stadium. The sighting suggested Mitsubishi, which sponsors English rugby, was drumming up interest in the upcoming model.
The previous-generation Shogun Sport model was last seen in UK showrooms in 2006, before being discontinued.
Meanwhile, the fifth-generation Shogun, which will be available as a plug-in hybrid, is expected by 2019.
«The Shogun is slightly hard to justify for investment, being a small-volume car,» said Bradley.
He added that one of the advantages of Mitsubishi’s newly formed tie-up with Nissan was platform sharing, hinting that this would help to accommodate the next-generation Shogun.
Sam Sheehan and Rachel Burgess