Mitsubishi believes it can corner the market for affordable body-on-frame SUVs

Mitsubishi is throwing down their SUV gauntlets and doubling-down on hard-core off-roaders, according to reports from the UK.

Apparently, the next Mitsubishi Pajero (aka Montero in North America, Shogun in the UK) will continue to revel in its true body-on-frame construction as the company positions itself as a company with SUVs as one of its core foci. This determination comes from Lance Bradley, head of Mitsubishi Motors UK, speaking recently to Autocar.

Mitsubishi believes that true body-on-frame SUVs are a dying breed and that there is an opening for the company which has won the backbreaking Dakar Rally 12 times with previous iterations of the Pajero. In fact, the company intends to position the new Pajero as an affordable but equally capable alternative to the Land Rover Discovery.

Bradley also fired a shot across the bows of other automakers — most of whom have shifted from SUVs to car-based crossovers while keeping the former's rugged names — saying, "A lot of the rivals are more beautiful or more refined but the Shogun needs to be an authentic off-roader: not fancy, not a school-run car but for people who tow horse boxes or actually go off-road."

Furthermore, Mitsubishi believes that the Pajero will have another edge with its plug-in hybrid technology, as previewed by the GC-PHEV Concept shown in Tokyo and Chicago. With the next Evo said to be taking the form an SUV, it appears Mitsubishi is gunning for the electric and off-roading segments. The new Pajero is due out in 2017.

Live images by Ben Hsu.