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Presentation of Mitsubishi Pajero

GET THE WILD CAT

In April, official sales of the new Mitsubishi Pajero will begin in Europe.

Mikhail GZOVSKIY

To get acquainted with the history of Pajero, you need to go back a quarter century. In 1973, at the Tokyo Motor Show, Mitsubishi introduced the concept off-road vehicle under the name Pajero - in fact, a copy of the American Jeep-J52, the heir to the famous Willis. However, the first “Pajero” failed to step further than the podium. However, like the Pajero II, shown in Tokyo six years later. The true debut is considered to be his third public appearance, held in October 1981. The three-door short-wheel drive SUV was literally crammed with advanced technical solutions for those times, which many eminent automakers soon began to copy. Let us call, for example, an independent front suspension installed instead of the primitive spring, typical for the “rogues” of those years, a turbocharged diesel engine, and a roll gauge. Within a few months, the specially prepared Pajero won the first award, becoming the winner in one of the categories of the Paris-Dakar rally. Since then, Pajero has been a constant participant in most of the rally raids.

Nine years later, the second-generation Pajero picked up the baton, even more suited to off-road “fun”: it acquired a rear axle differential lock, a clearance change system and shock absorbers with three stiffness modes. A couple of years ago, a GDI gasoline direct-injection gasoline engine revolutionized the engine industry. In October 1997, in a limited edition of two and a half thousand copies (that was exactly what was required then for the model homologation), Mitsubishi releases a rally version of the Pajero Evolution and it becomes clear that this is a harbinger of the upcoming replacement of the second generation of the car. As time has confirmed: at the end of last year - as before, at the Tokyo Auto Show - the company announced the release of a completely updated third-generation Pajero.

Despite significant changes in appearance, the designers managed to maintain a recognizable individual look of the off-road vehicle. If you put next to the new "Pajero" predecessor, undoubtedly guessed the "related traits." Although “aggressiveness and assertiveness” is not so clearly felt in the appearance of a novice, the predatory expression of a “face” has been replaced by more complacent. Nevertheless, the Japanese believe that the Pajero looks like a "wild cat preparing to attack its prey." You will not say anything - rich imagination!

Compared to the old version, the new one looks more solid and squat. However, this is not surprising - the length and width increased by 160 and 90 mm, respectively (55 and 100 mm in the version with a long base), only the height decreased - by 45 mm. The increased size, of course, affected the increase in internal space - the interior is now much more spacious. In general, the new Pajero was primarily created for a comfortable city ride, as indirectly evidenced by the body with an integrated frame in it (the old Pajero has a separate spar frame). This increased the torsional rigidity of the body and, as a result, reduced vibration, as well as improved handling and passive safety. And the body structure made it possible to lower the floor level by 50 mm, so getting into the cabin is now noticeably easier. The wider doors also contribute to this.

The reader will probably ask: did the Japanese deprive the car of high cross for the sake of comfort? Fortunately not. Like its ancestors, Pajero feels quite confident outside the asphalt. First of all, this is the merit of the all-wheel drive transmission SS4-II, which is an evolution of the previous SS4 system. It allows you to choose a four-wheel drive mode with or without an interaxle differential lock; there is also the possibility of downshifting. For driving under normal conditions, an economical mode with rear-wheel drive is provided. The SS4-II system uses a more advanced viscous coupling with a planetary gear in the center differential. It allows you to distribute torque between the front and rear axles in a ratio of 33:67. Another plus of the upgraded transmission is the ability to switch from rear to all-wheel drive at speeds up to 100 km / h.

Excellent cross-country vehicle is obliged to new suspensions. Unlike the old model, the new Pajero is equipped with independent suspension of not only the front but also the rear wheels. The former dependent three-lever gave way to an independent double-lever, first tested on the Evolution model. It is also important on the roads that the suspension moves are increased by 40 and 30 mm, respectively. Well, of course, updated engines made their contribution. Best for off-road driving, the Pajero diesel modification is equipped with a modernized four-cylinder engine, the volume of which is increased from 2.8 to 3.2 liters. Its power is 175 liters. with. instead of the previous 140 liters sec., torque increased to 390 N.m.

With a simple increase in power, today no one will be surprised. The new diesel engine is cleaner, more economical, and in this, in particular, the merit of the new head with four valves per cylinder. However, in Russia, diesel engines are not very favored, so the Pajero with a gasoline engine will probably cause the most interest. The latest version of the six-cylinder 3.5-liter GDI, although lost in power 25 liters. with. (220 hp), but it became more high-torque: 80% of the maximum torque (355 N.m) develops already at 1500 rpm. But fuel consumption has become lower. In Japan, another engine is designed for Pajero - a 2.5-liter diesel engine, but such machines will not be officially delivered to Russia.

So, the first, while the meeting in absentia with the machine took place. “Mitsubishi Pajero” looks quite a worthy rival to all-terrain vehicles with which very soon will have to enter the fight for the purse of buyers. And here is how the “Wild Cat” will prove itself in Russian conditions - time will tell. However, I think that he was guaranteed success: "Pajero" - we have a cult car …

The heart of the four-wheel drive transmission is the transfer case.