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Mitsubishi Challenger.

2000 August: A new Challenger is released, with coil springs replacing the leaf springs at the rear.


Mitsubishi Challenger is a 5-seater, four-wheel-drive to sneak in under the Mitsubishi Pajero in size and price. The medium-size family four-wheel-drive market has grown seriously competitive with the Toyota Prado in particular hurting sales of the Pajero. Mitsubishi upgraded the Pajero, e.g. to 3.5L V6's, while holding prices for 1997/1998, but the Challenger gives them room to move down market and still make a profit while allowing the next Pajero to grow and move up-market. In many ways they have produced a smaller Pajero - same track and wheelbase but 180mm lower (roofline).

Challenger 4x4

Challenger comes with a 3.0L V6 as recently vacated by the Pajero; the engine is LPG compatible which will be of interest to some Australian motorists. It has a lower more car-like stance in the Ford Explorer - Subaru Forester style. Leg room in the front and also in the rear seats is good but the seating is noticeably lower than most four wheel drives, more car like again. This car does have a full, separate chassis in traditional 4WD style. To claim its serious offroad credentials, a Challenger came fourth in the 1998 Paris Dakar Rally - behind three Pajeros.

A part-time four wheel drive system is used and 4WD can be selected at up to 100kph. Front suspension is by double wishbones with lower torsion bar springs. The rear end has a live axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs (c.f. the Pajero's rear coils). The 265R70R15 tyres put quite a bit of rubber on the road and have an overall diameter of 30"

The first Australian showing of Challenger came at the Melbourne Motor Show

Mitsubishi Challenger 1998 - 2000

  • station wagon, 5-seats, 4-doors, twin airbags
  • loa: 4530mm, width: 1775mm, height: 1730mm
  • wheelbase: 2725mm, track: 1465mm/1480mm, ground clearance: 215mm
  • turning radius: 5.5m
  • approach angle: 36, departure: 21, ramp-over: 155
  • weight: 1835kg (unladen), GVM: 2430kg, towing: 750kg (unbraked)
  • engine: 6G72, 2972cc, petrol, V6, mpfi, 4-valves/cyl, sohc
  • bore: 91.1mm, stroke: 76.0mm, c.r.: 9.0:1
  • power: 136kW at 5500rpm, torque: 265Nm at 4500rpm (and 230Nm at 2000rpm)
  • transmission: 5m/4a, part-time 4WD, 2-speed transfer case (lo 1.9:1, hi 1.0:1)
  • suspension: indep-torsion-bar/live-leaf, brakes: disc/disc
  • tyres: 265/70R15, fuel-tank: 74L
  • standard features: air-conditioning, central locking, power windows, electric door mirrors, AM/FM radio/casette
  • prices: from $39,990 (manual), $41,990 (auto), ABS +$1250; 2-tone paint, cruise-control and LSD +$1,800 ($au 1998)
    from $37,990 + orc (manual) ($au 1999)
  • Competitors: Daewoo Musso, Ford Explorer, Holden Frontera, Nissan Pathfinder

See also the Challenger (current), Pajero and Mitsubishi pages



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