Currently reading: Mitsubishi Shogun production ends after 37 years
Future of venerable off-roader remains uncertain as final Mk4 example brought to the UK is added to firm's heritage fleet

The Mitsubishi Shogun has been taken off sale in the UK after a 37-year run, as the final versions of the fourth-generation model are set to be built in Japan this month.

The hardcore off-roader, known as the Pajero in Japan and other markets, has been sold in the UK since the original model was launched in 1982. Since then, a total of 114,164 have been registered in this country. The fourth iteration of the Shogun dates from 2006 and is being discontinued after a number of facelifts during its long life.

The Shogun is built at Mitsubishi’s plant in Sakahogi, Japan, which recently completed the final European-spec models. It's currently producing a limited run of 700 Final Edition models for its home market.

The final Shogun to be imported here by Mitsubishi’s UK arm, a short-wheelbase Barbarian, has been added to the firm’s heritage fleet. Mitsubishi Motors UK boss Rob Lindley called the Shogun "an incredibly important vehicle for us, helping us to be one of the leaders in the 4WD and SUV segments from as long ago as the early 1980s."

The long-term future of the model is unknown. While Mitsubishi bosses have long coveted a replacement, the high cost of developing a platform for a hardcore off-roader and the relatively low sales of such models have so far prevented a fifth-generation model been given the go-ahead, in a similar way to how Land Rover struggled to develop the new Defender.

While Mitsubishi has access to wide range of platforms through the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, there's a lack of similar machines in the Renault and Nissan ranges. There have been reports that a future Shogun could share a platform with a new Nissan Patrol, or that it could be based on a new Alliance pick-up truck platform, of which Mitsubishi is leading development for its next L200

The Shogun became famous for its domination of the gruelling Dakar Rally in the 1980s and 1990s, taking 12 outright wins. Launched at the 1981 Tokyo motor show, it effectively replaced a license-built Jeep as Mitsubishi's rugged off-roader. It was initially offered as a three-door, short-wheelbase model, before a longer, five-door version followed in 1982. 

The second Shogun arrived in 1991, with the key development a Super Select four-wheel drive system. The third-generation model of 1999 involved a move to a monocoque body with a built-in ladder frame chassis, along with four-wheel independent suspension.

The fourth iteration arrived in 2006 and was sold in the UK only with a 3.2-litre diesel engine and an automatic gearbox.

The Shogun Sport, which despite its name is built on a different platform, remains on sale here.

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Car review

The Mitsubishi Shogun has its appeal. It needs more chassis finesse, but is still charming

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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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plonkarchivist 26 February 2024

Impressive vehicles. Sturdy yet elegantly crafted. Exceptionally engineered 

custodygila 21 August 2019

Also good to see/read that as

Also good to see/read that as an apprentice you can still achieve a career and that there are alternatives to uni, the government and education system seem obsessed with further education and as such education debt, whereas apprenticeship training used to be the norm. My son has an apprenticeship and school didn't know what to do with him as although he has excellent GCSE results he wasn't following further education. Update Madalin Stunt Cars 2 full version.

jason_recliner 6 August 2019

A mate just bought one

Great cars. Tough but quite refined. Engineered brilliantly.