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Toyota Fortuner-rivaling next-gen Mitsubishi Pajero Sport: India launch timeline revealed

Mitsubishi is looking to make a comeback in India and the Japanese carmaker is lining up the third-gen Pajero Sport to kickstart its return to Indian roads. According to Autocar India, Mitsubishi will launch the Toyota Fortuner-rivalling Pajero Sport in late 2019.

Autocar India claims that the third-gen Mitsubishi Pajero Sport will first arrive in India as a Completely Built Unit. However, Mitsubishi could later start assembling the Pajero Sport in India to keep the costs down considering that all of its rivals like the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and the upcoming Mahindra XUV700 are all assembled or manufactured in India.

The third-generation Pajero Sport isn’t exactly an all-new vehicle from Mitsubishi. The latest-gen Pajero Sport was revealed in 2015 and it is due for a mid-life facelift soon. Test mules of the facelifted SUV have been spotted testing and so we should expect Mitsubishi to bring the refreshed Pajero Sport to India when it arrives in late 2019.

The new Pajero Sport for India will be powered by a 2.4-litre turbocharged diesel engine that produces 178.5 Bhp and 430 Nm of torque which will be sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive. The 2.4-litre engine will be compliant with India’s upcoming BS-VI emission norms when it arrives in late 2019. Mitsubishi will offer the Pajero Sport, which is based on the same platform as the rugged Triton pick-up truck, with the usual off-road driving options that have made the current SUV so popular in India.

In terms of design, the Pajero Sport features an aggressive design with sharp headlights flanking a chromed-out grille under which sits a large air dam. The Pajero Sport also features flared wheel arches and stylized vertically stacked taillights, that together give it a butch yet modern look. Inside, the Pajero Sports gets a host of features including a touchscreen infotainment system, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, electronic handbrake and 7 airbags, among many others.

The new Pajero Sport should help Mitsubishi make its way back into the sight of Indian SUV buyers looking for a premium SUV. However, that will happen only if Mitsubishi manages to keep the price of the new Pajero Sport competitive compared to that of the Toyota Fortuner, which currently rules the premium SUV segment in India.