Mitsubishi Shogun (2006): first official pictures

Published: 08 September 2006

The lowdown

Not an all-new car but a fairly serious revision of the legendary off-roader. Mitsubishi has ditched the old car’s dated-looking curves with much straighter, angular lines inspired by the 1979 Pajero II concept car. It’s not exactly Range Rover suave but the result should keep the Caravan Club happy. UK sales start in February and include the usual choice of three- and five-door models priced from £22k.

The inside story

The big news is a massive and much-needed hike in interior quality. While the design won’t win any awards, the dashboard plastics now look more expensive and lashings of silver trim help alleviate the otherwise unremitting blackness. There’s been movement in the gadget count too – top-spec Shoguns now come with a rear-view camera to aid reversing, an 860W 12-speaker Rockford Acoustic Design hi-fi system and a rear-seat entertainment system to keep the kids happy.

The engine room

The wave of newer rivals with their powerful and sophisticated six-cylinder diesel engines has made it more important for Mitusbishi to put some work into refinement. So there’s a new 168bhp 3.2-litre common-rail diesel – still with just four cylinders though – and a 247bhp petrol V6 lifted from the US-built Eclipse coupe that Mitsubishi hopes to start importing to the UK in early 2007. Putting that power to the ground is a revised version of the current four-wheel drive system. True to its off-roading roots the new Shogun retains a transfer box to give lower ratios and can be ordered with the optional rear diff-lock. But it still won’t be as hardcore as the all-new off-road racer Mitsubishi will unveil at the Paris Motor Show this September. Loosely based on the Shogun, the MPR13 racer will contest the punishing Dakar rally in 2007.

By Chris Chilton

Contributing editor, ace driver, wit supplier, mischief maker