Folk retro. 1990 Mitsubishi Pajero. Pleasure for the egoist
You can argue about what a massive SUV was the first in terms of a combination of cross-country and passenger comfort. In fact – Range Rover. Behind him in smaller dimensions and with an independent front suspension – our “Niva”. But didn’t Pajero also contribute to the improvement of the descendants of army all-terrain vehicles? After all, “Range” was considered an aristocrat with the appropriate price level. Lada, except for the “iron curtain”, was offered in the social bloc and developing countries. And in the decaying West – very limited. And only “Padzhik” became really accessible and widespread.
The story of its appearance is well known. As the dual etymology of the name. On the one hand, Leopardus pajeros is a sort of reed cat from the pampas of South America. On the other – the abusive word of the Latinos, denoting a man deprived of female attention and engaged … Well, you understand. We missed, in general, in Japan, in the Spanish-speaking markets, quickly correcting this with the duplicate name Montero (we also know it as Shogun, as the Dodge Raider for the American market, and as the Korean clone Hyundai Galloper). Well, the name Pajero has long become legendary and is not associated with anything “like” among fans of the model. Another thing is that in the early 70s, if the situation was different, they could fall in love with another car – a somewhat ennobled army all-terrain vehicle. That is how the first concept appeared with the name Pajero. In fact, the Mitsubishi Jeep (licensed copy of Willys MB), hung with whips. But at the end of the 70s, the MMC thought better of it and offered a fundamentally new model, from which the SUV we know its leading story.
The 1973 Pajero Concept and the 1979 Pajero II Concept
And in the early 80s broke. In 1982 (the beginning of production) – short-base version with a hard and soft top.
Less than a year later – “pyatidverka” with a usual and high roof, with seven and nine places.
In Toyota and Nissan nervously drank sake. Their classmates were then still on the tables of engineers, in development. And Pajero walked cheerfully around the world. For this, the latter just had to offer something new. A rich selection of body versions. Instead of the front axle – independent suspension. And an unprecedented advertising campaign – participation and victories in the recently appeared Paris-Dakar rally.
It is worth noting that the merits of the first Pajero in this marathon, if we talk about the victories in the “absolute”, are somewhat exaggerated. Yes, he ascended to the top step of the pedestal only for the third year of participation – in 1985. But after, up to 1992, I could not go up there. The reason is that in 1986, group B was closed in the WRC, and the factory teams and their monsters rushed to Dakar. And Pajero … He was almost serial, they are no match. And only towards the end of the career of that generation, at its base, began to build prototypes with plastic bodies. To win on the “proto”, built on the basis of the second generation machine.
Why, then, was he quickly dubbed the “King of the Desert”? Yes, because in comparison with the rest of the motley peloton (there were both Citroen 2CV, and VW Kafer with Iltis, and TLC with Nissan Patrol), it was distinguished by a combination of good speed and reliability. Not for nothing, in 1990, three crews on the almost factory Pajero “backed up” in the final table finished the first 600-strong Peugeot 405 T16. The situation in the current marathons is almost unreal. And precisely because of the balance of qualities almost immediately, Mitsubishi became the most popular racing car – from 350–400 crews up to 10–15% chose him to participate.
There was another marketing trump, this time exclusively civilian – a wide range of engines. Not doing, like Toyota and Nissan, the emphasis on large installations (after all, Pajero played in a lower class than the Land Cruiser and Patrol), Mitsubishi offered the famous gasoline 4G63 and a 2.3-liter diesel 4D55. For long base modifications both existed in turbo versions. And although, frankly, according to current standards, it was shot a little (the same 4G63T developed only 137 hp), then the format of the SUV didn’t imply a “traffic light drag”. Moreover, the reputation of not the most powerful (only 103 forces), but the most momentary on the bottoms, was supported by 2.6-liter gasoline 4G54.
In the second half of the 80s, in addition to these engines, the 4D56 appeared – first without an intercooler (84 hp), then with it (95 hp). In 1988, he made his debut 2.4-liter, finally injection 4G64 (145 hp) And at the same time – the V-shaped 3.0-liter “six” 6G72 with a return of 141 power.
With the transmission that’s not overdone. And before whimsical “Invex” was still far away, and Super Select has not yet been invented. Therefore, they used the hardy “automatic” Aisin series A40 and A340, familiar from Toyotas. And the four-wheel drive was implemented according to the old non-differential scheme – with a rigid connection of the front axle in the “razdatka” and blocking of the hub overrunning clutches.
The design of the suspension for a good two decades has determined the preferences of at least Japanese engineers in the class of mid-size SUVs. Rear, of course, left a solid beam (with springs or springs).