Dakar is the most gruelling and arduous motorsport event on the planet. Don’t believe us? Well, songs have been written about it, people have lost lives, gotten lost and what not. All because winning it means there are no more challenges left to conquer in the world of motorsport. And with a history that spans over three-and-a-half decades (with the next edition just weeks away), one manufacturer has left a very strong impression with a single product. An impression so strong that the product has sold simply on the basis of this connection. The product in discussion is the Mitsubishi Pajero.
Hard to believe it isn’t. The Pajero, even in common folklore, is known as a tough, rugged vehicle that can take lots of abuse and still go on, without breaking into a sweat or losing its breath. So the new Pajero, (badged the Pajero Sport) given its Dakar history and heritage, has quite a lot to prove to the world.
The pressure mounts from the moment you look at it. The grille is heavily inspired by all those Pajeros, flying over sand dunes as they carved their way to the victor’s step. Lots of chrome then, that also helps it look quite upmarket, and the projector headlamps. But what really gives it a purposeful stance is the high ground clearance, accentuated by the skid plate. What will catch your attention is the gap between the wheel arch and the tyre itself; you literally can see the struts and coil springs from a considerable distance. Other design highlights are the side-steps that do serve a great purpose, unlike on most other SUVs, while the horizontally placed tail-lamps are in line with the Outlander soft-roader. This is one smart-looking, if slightly top-heavy, SUV.
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