A NEW Mitsubishi Shogun Sport will be launched into the booming SUV sector next spring.
The five-door, seven-seat SUV is based on the platform of the L200 Double Cab pick-up with a 173ps 2.4-litre DI-D diesel engine and a new eight-speed automatic gearbox.
It utilisea rear or four wheel drive, high or low ranges with locking differentials and sits on coil springs not the leaf units of the workhorse pickup.
The new Shogun Sport has already been sold in Australia and it will slot into the Mitsubishi UK range clothed in a new body, fitting between the current Shogun and Outlander models.
It is due to arrive around February time and Britain will be the only European market to import it.
Prices and exact specifications will be announced closer to the release date but are likely to start from around £25,000.
"We identified a gap in our range for customers who need a serious car for towing and who want a modern SUV, particularly among those living in the countryside," said Mitsubishi Motors UK spoeksman Conor Twomey. "We saw this model on sale in Australia and because that is also a right hand drive market it was a no-brainer for us to bring it to the UK."
The new Shogun Sport will tow more than three tonnes, but it still has to be evaluated for UK legislation and assessed for insurance group purposes and emissions tests.
It will be the second SUV from Mitsubishi in the first quarter of 2018 as its Eclipse Cross series is due from under £22,000 and that is aimed to fill another gap between the ASX and Outlander.
The original Shogun Sport was introduced into the UK in 1997 and lasted a decade. That was initially built in Japan but the new Shogun Sport coming next year will be shipped from the same plant in Thailand which builds the L200 Double Cab truck.
In recent months Mitsubishi has declared it wants to become an SUV specialist but using its plug-in hybrid elcectric technology as seen on the Outlander as well as its serious off-road capabilities.
Mr Twomey said that despite the Renault-Nissan acquisition of Mitsubishi the company would make no changes to its immediate model plans but gradually share group platforms from the medium term onwards and in six years time it planned to introduce a new car every year.