Snapshot: As the headline suggests, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport’s automatic variant will be launched in India, in the second half of 2014, with September being the likely month of launch.
Luxury SUV buyers who fork out about 30 lakh rupees for the likes of a Toyota Fortuner or a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport expect an automatic transmission, offered at least as an option. While the solitary product sold by Hindustan Motors-Mitsubishi, the Pajero Sport, is doing decent volumes, the lack of an automatic gearbox option in this SUV’s variant line-up has resulted in many prospective buyers striking off the SUV from their list.
The long standing demand of Mitsubishi dealers in India has been that of an automatic variant of the Pajero Sport. As Mitsubishi dealers have a solitary product (1 single variant) to sell in the Indian market, the addition of the automatic variant is the need of the day. CarToq’s sources at HM-Mitsubishi have confirmed that the Pajero Sport’s automatic variant will be launched in the second half of next year.
Also, CarToq sources indicate that the SUV will arrive at the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) for homologation in early 2014. The Pajero Sport’s automatic variant will feature a 5 speed automatic gearbox. The 2.5 liter-4 cylinder turbo diesel engine that outputs 178 PS of peak power and 400 Nm of peak torque will be retained as it is. A shift-on-the-fly four wheel drive mode will be standard.
Other features and creature comforts are also likely to be carried over unchanged. Like the manual variant, the automatic variant of the Pajero Sport will be assembled through completely knocked down (CKD) kits at Hindustan Motors’ Tiruvallur facility off Chennai. The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport’s automatic variant will be priced at about 25 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi. The price represent a near 1 lakh rupee premium over that of the manual gearbox equipped variant.