The third-generation Mitsubishi Challenger has been unveiled at an event in Thailand.
Known in Asian markets as the Pajero Sport, the new car, like the generations before it, is based on the Triton ute. Under the bonnet, the new Challenger is powered by a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine. Although Mitsubishi has yet to release output figures, in the Triton this motor develops 133kW of power and 430Nm of torque.
In the ute, the 2.4-litre diesel can be mated to either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. For the Challenger, the new engine is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is said to be improved by around 17 percent to 7.5L/100km under the Thai testing standard.
The Challenger will be offered in rear-wheel drive, as well as with an evolution of the company’s Super Select II four-wheel drive system. For the first time this system can be fitted with off-road terrain selection and hill descent control.
Mitsubishi claims that the new Challenger has greater wading depth, although no numbers have been provided.
Unlike the current vehicle, there’s a much greater level of visual differentiation between the Challenger and Triton. At the front, the Challenger uses a variation of the dynamic shield grille that debuted on the Outlander facelift, while at the rear the new SUV has tail-lights that seem to drip down next to the tailgate.
One the inside, the new SUV shares a lot more in common with its ute sibling. Although the basic architecture and many components are shared, the SUV’s interior has been given a more luxurious look. Changes include a four-spoke steering wheel, generous applications of piano black plastic, a redesigned transmission gate, and silver-coloured door pulls and faux-metallic spears that run from the top of the dash down the centre console and along the central tunnel.
Seating is available for up to seven people across three rows, with the last row folding flat into the boot floor when not in use.
A total of seven airbags will be fitted to the SUV, while new features for the Challenger include blind spot monitoring, an electronic parking brake, forward collision mitigation and surround view cameras.
Also available is an Ultrasonic Mis-acceleration Mitigation System, which uses sensors to detect objects in the car’s path and cuts off engine power if the driver accidentally steps too hard on the accelerator below stationary or at speeds below 10km/h.
The Challenger will go on sale in Thailand from the third quarter of 2015, with the car arriving local showrooms some time in early 2016. More details about the car’s specifications will be announced closer to the launch date.
Click here for more photos of the new 2016 Mitsubishi Challenger.