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INCOMING! New Mitsubishi Pajero Sport to be launched on March 12

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Mitsubishi India may have three SUVs in its lineup for India, but the only one that has consistently topped their charts has been the Pajero. Despite being a near two decade-old design, the Pajero has managed to win the hearts of many, though increasingly it has been finding it difficult in the face of competition from newer offerings like the Toyota Fortuner and the Hyundai Santa Fe. All that might change, come March 12.

Mitsubishi-HM will launch their next-generation Pajero, nearly a decade after the last one hit showrooms. The new Pajero, to be badged a Pajero Sport will come with a 2.5-litre, turbocharged diesel engine with 135 bhp driving the wheels. Interestingly, while the vehicle is offered with both two and four-wheel drive options outside, it will be interesting to see if Mitsubishi follow the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour by offering both options here too. Mated to a four-speed automatic and a Super Select 4WD system, the Pajero Sport won't be setting any quick acceleration times, but should be much better than the outgoing car, thanks to the gobs of torque on offer – a full 32 kgm of it from 2000 rpm.

A more powerful version, the 175 bhp VGT equipped Pajero Sport based on the same block may not come here, at least not initially, but we don't doubt the fact that Mitsubishi would be tempted to bring it in at some point.

Expect it to be decently loaded for the Indian market. You will get a limited slip differential, ABS, driver and passenger airbags, projector headlamps, leather seats, reverse camera, air-con vents for all rows, cruise control, parking sensors, two-din touch screen with six speakers among others. We hope Mitsubishi plays it sane and safe and goes for the Toyota jugular by pricing it in the range of Rs 20-23 lakh. Fingers firmly crossed.