In 1973 Mitsubishi motors introduced the first prototype for the basis of the Pajero line, this was followed by another prototype in 1978 dubbed the Pajero II. It took another five years before the Manufacturer would put this model into production. The name Pajero was not viewed as marketable in certain countries because it does not translate favourably into certain languages. This meant Mitsubishi would be forced to create different name badges based on where the vehicle was released resulting in the vehicle also being known as the Mitsubishi Shogun and the Mitsubishi Montero.
The first generation of production for the Pajero was 1982, this generation ran until 1991 and was initially released as a three door with the option of a metal or canvas top and three different engine variations. This first generation came loaded with features that were never before seen in Japanese four wheel drive vehicles.
Things that were standard on them were the likes of power steering, suspension seats, a double wishbone suspension with a torsion bar spring setup and the availability of a turbo charged diesel engine. Later in the same year of its release Mitsubishi added a five door long wheel based variant to its line up. This was to make the Pajero more viable as a family vehicle than just an off road vehicle. Between 1989 and 1990, Mitsubishi sold more then three hundred thousand Pajeros worldwide.
The second generation of the Mitsubishi Pajero was released in 1991 and ran until 2000. This generation saw a major redesign in both styling and mechanicals. The body was made larger, the running gear saw the addition of what was known as super select 4WD also known as active trak 4WD, this new four wheel drive setup allowed drivers to switch back and forth from two wheel to four wheel drive at speeds of up to 60 mph. this new generation also included the use of ABS braking, and the inclusion later in this generation of SRS airbags and wider fenders.
The third generation of the Pajero was released by Mitsubishi in 1999 and ran until 2006. This generation saw a complete redesign giving the vehicle a lower stance and a wider body to give the Pajero a lower centre of gravity to improve on road handling. The frame was also removed and replaced with a unibody construction to allow for a longer suspension stroke for off road use. Other changes included moving the fuel tank to between the axles for improved safety, a new electronic 4WD system and an available rack and pinion steering set up.
The fourth and current generation of the Pajero was released on 2006 and is still in production today. This generation saw a rework of both internal and external styling. Making smoother more stylish lines and improving ride stability both on and off road.
Engines available by generation