Mitsubishi Pajero won’t be replaced: All-new off-road icon is off the table as international reports prove false

Reports of the Mitsubishi Pajero making a stunning comeback are incorrect, with an all-new model thought to be well and truly off the table in Japan.

The news, first reported by Japanese scoop site Spyder7, had Mitsubishi in Japan working on an all-new Pajero that would launch in “late 2021 or 2022”, effectively rejuvenating the nameplate in its home market following its axing there in 2019.

According to the site, the Pajero was to adopt a new-generation ladder-frame chassis and adopt plug-in hybrid power, paring a 2.4-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine with a pair of electric motors.

But CarsGuide understands there is little truth to the rumours, with no plan to reintroduce the Pajero nameplate in Japan, and no decision being made to launch an all-new model once the current Pajero is removed from sale. 

The off-road icon – last fully updated in 2006 – remains on sale in Australia. In fact, it was just updated for 2020 here, with Mitsubishi trimming the line-up from three to two models, and adding extra equipment.

Mitsubishi has today told us the production of that model will continue for the “forseeable” future, but CarsGuide understands that is where the Pajero story will end. 

Which does lead us neatly to what vehicle is coming next year with plug-in hybrid power? Based on the model description, the evidence points to the new Outlander, which is expected to grow in size when its replaced, and to be powered by PHEV powertrains.