Make / Model Search

Future models - Mitsubishi - Challenger

Mitsubishi hits accelerator on Challenger debut

Coming sooner: The new Mitsubishi Challenger is now set for a November launch.

About-face by Mitsubishi on Challenger launch delay as market picks up

7 Aug 2009

BOUYED by the improving motor vehicle market, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) has a done a U-turn on its new Challenger by scrapping plans to delay the Australian introduction of mid-size SUV until next year and instead push ahead with a November launch.

Just three weeks ago, the company told the media that Challenger had been pushed back because of the global financial crisis.

MMAL president and CEO Robert McEniry said yesterday he had only recently become sufficiently confident to lock in production plans for Challenger after the market picked up significantly, thanks largely to the 50 per cent government investment deduction.

“We see the Challenger as an opportunity to ratchet up our performance in the medium duty 4WD segment, and it should give some of its softer competitors pause for thought,” he said.

“The Challenger will offer all the comfort, safety and convenience these other vehicles offer but with one very important and clear difference – Challenger has serious 4WD capability.”

21 center imageMMAL vice president, brand and marketing Paul Unerkov said the Challenger would amply fill a void in the Mitsubishi SUV line-up and would serve as a viable option for those buyers who considered the Pajero too big.

“There are people moving in and out of segments all the time,” he said. “There will be people who want to downsize from Pajero to something else.

“(If) we don’t have anything else, they’ll go to a competitor, so it gives those people some options.

“Plus there are some people who don’t want a vehicle the size of the Pajero. They want a true 4WD that allows them to do whatever they want to do.” Mr Unerkov would not divulge specification or feature details of the new model, but indicated it would likely come in two model grades.

While he acknowledged the primary role of a diesel engine model, he did not discount there being a petrol V6 option.

“I think there’s a role [for a petrol V6], but with what’s happening in the market, the diesel engine is becoming the flavour of the month very quickly,” he said. “There still petrols sold.

“It’s like the ute market – there are people who still want petrol for various reasons, but 90 per cent is diesel.

“I think the diesel will give the customers everything they want, it will give them efficiency, and performance won’t be hindered.” The new Challenger, first shown in August 2008, is based on the Triton’s separate chassis. The Australian market models will come from the same factory as Triton in Thailand.

The new model replaces the PA Challenger, last sold here in 2007.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Mitsubishi models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here