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4 Wheel Drive Madness


A list of some spectacular 4x4s and some not so spectacular. | 4x4 History


2001 January: Mitsubishi has reintroduced a value pack from the previous model now based on the current NM Pajero GLX. This includes body-coloured flares and bumpers, in-dash 6-CD player, spare wheel cover, sports roof rack, tow bar and alloy wheels.

2000 May: The new Mitsubishi Pajero on sale in Australia. Of special note: Monocoque construction, all independent suspension, good approach angle (42), and no big jump in price - partly due to the GST due at the end of June.

There are always questions over wheel travel with independent suspension, and a limited slip differential is standard on all models, but no traction control - yet.

Suspension, both front and rear, is independent by double wishbones. The suspension is attached to subframes, the new Pajero having monocoque or unitary construction. The rear wishbones are nice and long for good wheel travel.

The most vulnerable parts under the body are the fuel tank and the exhaust system silencer.

Engine options are the 3.5 litre V6 and the 2.8 litre turbo-charged and intercooled diesel engine. The direct injection petrol engine available in Japan is not offered here - apparently it can't take the local petrol.

The engine air-intake is just above the radiator grille but the bonnet seals with the grille to prevent the first wave of water at a crossing from rushing straight in.

Manufacturer's figures

  • station wagon, 5+2-seats, 4-doors, air bags, ABS option
  • loa: 4775mm, width: 1845mm, height: 1855mm
  • wheelbase: 2780mm, track: 1560mm/1560mm, grnd clearance: 235mm
  • approach: 42, departure: 24, ramp break over: 155.5
  • turning radius: 5.7m
  • weight: 1950kg-2110kg (unladen), GVM: 2655kg-2720kg, towing: 750kg (unbraked)
  • V6
    • 3497cc, petrol, V6, mpfi, 4-valves/cyl, sohc
    • bore: 93.0mm, stroke: 85.8mm, c.r.: 9.0:1
    • power: 140kW at 5000rpm, torque: 303Nm at 3500rpm
  • diesel
    • 2835cc, diesel, 4-cyls, indirect injection, 2-valves/cyl
    • bore: 95mm, stroke: 100mm, c.r.: 21.0:1
    • power: 92kW at 4000rpm, torque: 292Nm at 2000rpm
  • transmission: 5-speed manual (V6, 4.234:1, 2.238:1, 1.398:1, 1.0:1, 0.819:1; rev 3.553:1) (td, 3.952:1, 2.238:1, 1.398:1, 1.0:1, 0.761:1; rev 3.553:1) or 5-speed auto (V6, 3.789:1, 2.057:1, 1.421;1, 1.0:1, 0.731:1; rev 3.865:1),  2-speed transfer case (hi 1.0:1, lo 1.9:1),  GLX, GLS & Exceed Super-Select II 2WD hi/ 4WD hi (centre diff)/ 4WD lo,  diff' ratio V6 4.3:1, td 4.9:1
  • suspension: indep/indep, brakes: disc/disc, ABS option
  • tyres: GL and GLX 235/80R16, GLS and Exceed 265/70R16, fuel-tank: 90L
  • Note GLS and Exceed loa +20mm, width +20mm
  • Safety options, GL ABS & passenger airbag, GLS passenger airbag & CD stacker
  • Fuel consumption: V6 14.6L/100km city / 10.7L/100km highway; td 14.7L/100km / 10.9L/100km


Mitsubishi Challenger

2000 September: With the new pajero safely launched, and moving to a "softer", more up-market image, it is time for the Mitsubishi Challenger to inherit coil springs in the rear suspension. Apart from that the engineering is very little changed from the previous model. Front suspension remains double wishbones with torsion bars.

The new Challanger keeps the 3-litre V6 engine (v. Pajero's 3.5). This is mated to either a 4-speed automatic (& adaptive) or a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Manufacturer's figures:

  • station wagon, 5-seats, 4-doors, twin airbags
  • loa: 4610mm, width: 1775mm, height: 1730mm
  • wheelbase: 2725mm, track: 1465mm/1480mm, ground clearance: 215mm
  • turning radius: 5.5m
  • approach angle: 36, departure: 21, ramp-over: 155
  • weight: 1840kg (unladen), GVM: 2430kg, towing: 750kg (unbraked)
  • engine: 6G72, 2972cc, petrol, V6, mpfi, 4-valves/cyl, sohc (LPG compatible)
  • bore: 91.1mm, stroke: 76.0mm, c.r.: 9.0:1
  • power: 136kW at 5500rpm, torque: 265Nm at 4500rpm (and 230Nm at 2000rpm)
  • transmission: 5-speed manual (3.918:1, 2.261:1, 1.395:1, 1.0:1, 0.829:1; rev 3.925:1) (hi 1.0:1, lo 1.925:10), or 4-speed `Invecs' auto' (2.842:1, 1.495:1, 1.0:1, 0.731:1; rev 2.720:1) (hi 1.0:1, lo 1.90:10), `Easy Select' part-time 4WD, 2-speed transfer case, diff' ratio 4.636:1
  • suspension: indep'-torsion-bar/ live-coils, brakes: disc/disc
  • tyres: 265/70R15, fuel-tank: 74L
  • standard features: air-conditioning, central locking, power windows, electric door mirrors, radio/ casette/ CD
  • LS: automatic transmission, leather seats, fog lights, spoiler, side steps, ABS, cruise control, limited slip diff'


The Mitsubishi iO, or the baby Pajero as it will doubtless be known, was released in Australia in early 1999, and comes with a 1.6L engine in the SWB model and a 1.8L engine in the LWB. Mitsubishi Australia partially bowed to the inevitable, dubbing it the Pajero iO.

The iO is plainly aimed at the Kia Sportage and Suzuki Vitara which share a dual-range transfer case with the iO, and at the Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4 which do not. The main weakness in Mitsubishi's plan is the lack of a 2 litre engine here in oz, particularly when the top rivals have 2 litres or more.

Interior room is good in the front but "cosy" in the rear seats. Luggage room in the LWB is "modest" and if you want to use one for the school-run, make sure that your offspring play no musical instruments larger than a violin; the cello is "out". The SWB might have trouble fitting even a violin behind the rear seats.

Air conditioning, central locking, electric door mirrors & windows, are standard on SWB and LWB. It is therefore a little surprising that there is only a driver's airbag and no option of one for the passenger.

Rear vision is good thanks to the designers having taken a chunk out of the rear bumper so that the spare tyre can be hung on the rear door a little lower than on most 4WDs, i.e. out of the line of sight; the modest diameter of the 215/65R16 tyres helps in this regard.

Mitsubishi iO SWB 1.6

Manufacturer's specifications:

  • hard-top, 5 seats, 2 doors, driver's airbag
  • loa: 3710mm, width: 1680mm, height: 1700mm
  • wheelbase: 2280mm (90"), track: 1435mm/1445mm, grnd clearance: 205mm
  • approach: 33, departure: 45, ramp break over: 158
  • turning radius: 4.9m (kerb)
  • weight: 1230kg (unladen), GVM: 1610kg, towing: 750kg (unbraked)
  • 1584cc, petrol, 4-cyls, efi, 4-valves/cyl, sohc
  • bore: 76.0mm, stroke: 87.3mm, c.r.: 9.5:1
  • power: 75kW at 6000rpm, torque: 135Nm at 3500rpm
  • transmission: 5m (3.967:1, 2.136:1, 1.36:1, 1.0:1, 0.822:1, rev 3.578:1), dual range transfer case (1.0:1, 1.548:1), central diff', final drive 5.111:1
  • suspension: MacPherson-strut / live-axle&coils, brakes: disc/drum
  • tyres: 215/65R16 (27" oad), fuel-tank: 53L
  • monocoque (unitary) construction



The Mitsubishi L200 is undoubtedly a leader in its class. Its been voted Best Pick-up by What Van? Magazine 6 times in the last 8 years! Here's a vehicle designed with reliability, style and performance in mind. This Single or Double cab pick-up can cope will all your business needs and if off road is a must the L200 benefits from the technology derived from the Shogun's 4 wheel drive dominance. This cab is so far ahead it's in a league of its own!