In Japan, demand for four-wheel drive vehicles was growing as private owners sought them for leisure use. So we developed our own 4WD technology. The result was the 4WD Pajero (known as the Montero or Shogun in some markets). It was the pioneer of a new generation of SUVs that offered sophisticated driving performance at a reasonable price.
It was well received at the 1979 Tokyo Motor Show and metal and canvas-topped variants rolled off the production line in 1982. A long wheelbase version was added to the line-up in July 1983, followed by an automatic version in 1985 and V6 Petrol and Diesel engines in 1988.
It had outstanding all-terrain performance and passenger car-like drivability. It won the Paris-Dakar Rally at its first attempt in 1983. It won the first overall victory in 1985, with a total of 12 overall wins over 25 years up to 2009.