When one door closes another one opens, or so goes the saying. Depending on your perspective, that might be the case with Mitsubishi. The Japanese automaker announced that the enthusiast-favorite Evolution will not continue on in any form, disappointing fans around the glove. The good news is that at the same time it appears that the Montero is about to make a dramatic reappearance in the United States automotive market.
The 2015 Chicago Auto Show is the stage where the big reveal will take place. As an official announcement of the reveal in February, Mitsubishi used the image of a crossover vehicle in silhouette poised at the top of a nondescript sand dune. The text simply declares “The Return of a Legend.”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Mitsubishi is talking about the Montero. Thanks to a questionable report on the rollover risk the Montero posed (and apparently other SUVs did not) the Montero was discontinued in the United States back in 2006.
Despite what some people may think, just because the Montero left the States doesn’t mean it ceased to exist. The Pajero (as it’s called in other markets) lived on and even thrived. It was already considered a respectable off-road vehicle long before it bowed out of the United States. Among its bragging rights are numerous trophies from the Dakar Rally. In other words, the Montero is a real legend and can be the only thing the company is hinting at returning.
A number of things remain unclear, thanks to the cryptic message posted by Mitsubishi. Does the return of the Montero mean that it will be sold in the United States again? While that might seem likely, it is an assumption and not a fact. There are rumors that the “return” is really a concept vehicle that will preview what the new Montero might look like, if it goes into production. Some think that the GC-PHEV concept could be what will roll onto the stage in the Windy City. Whatever happens, Mitsubishi better make it good because the company is in desperate need of a hit.