The fun could start in 2021.
Mitsubishi has certainly had its share of ups and downs lately. Having been saved at the last minute from the brink of financial collapse by now-former Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, this could now potentially fall apart following Ghosn's arrest and the potential break-up of the alliance. But for now, Mitsubishi appears to be moving ahead with numerous product revival plans, among them a new Pajero, which was sold in the US as the Montero. We've known about this plan for a couple of years now, and the Mitsubishi Engelberg Concept was a clear preview of what's to come. Last fall, our spy photographers also captured the next-generation Outlander undergoing testing, but remember, that's a crossover. What we really want is that new SUV.
According to Chinese publication Autohome, that reborn Pajero/Montero looks like it'll arrive towards the end of next year, though this could potentially be pushed back to 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, this new SUV may not feature styling inspired by the insanely cool Engelberg Concept, but rather 2013's GC-PHEV Concept. This concept came powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 paired to an electric motor for a total of around 340 horsepower. Obviously a lot has changed since 2013, so we doubt this particular V6 will be used. A far more likely choice is a more fuel-efficient turbocharged V6 connected to a plug-in hybrid system. This setup would also ensure a longer all-electric range.
One powertrain possibility could be what's used for the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. This crossover features a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four with 117 hp and 137 lb-ft of torque and is connected to a pair of 60 kWh electric motors for an additional 73 hp. While this setup works just fine in a crossover, it probably won't be enough to power a true SUV that's also capable of towing.
Hopefully, Mitsubishi has another powertrain in the works. It'll have to if it wants the new Montero to be a serious competitor to the segment's best, the Toyota Land Cruiser and 4Runner. Currently, Toyota has a solid grip on the classic SUV market outside of GM and Ford. In the past, Toyota and Mitsubishi were direct competitors as well and the latter wants to regain that status.
But here's the ultimate question: Will the new Mitsubishi Montero be sold in the US? Given the resurgence in demand for SUVs in this market, we wouldn't bet against it.