Although not advertised, Mitsubishi Motors has a special division dedicated to creating some outrageous concepts. Known as the Special Vehicle Projects (SVP) division, the SVP is actually behind a variety of custom Mitsubishi vehicles. We just don’t see many of them. That would be because most of these concepts show up overseas, like the new concepts by Mitsubishi in Tokyo that are mostly improvements on the Outlander PHEV and Eclipse Cross. A model showing up overseas we’re waiting on is the 2019 Mitsubishi Triton pickup truck, but Mitsubishi doesn’t plan on bringing the midsize truck to America until perhaps 2025. When it comes to SVP concepts, there’s always a possibility, especially when they show up at an auto show in the UK, like the recent Commercial Vehicle Show.
One of the most recent modification projects by SVP is actually a modified Mitsubishi L200 truck, code-named “Barbarian.” The custom L200 Barbarian II came with a two-paint finish of either Pearlescent Diamond Black or Metallic Atlantic Grey paint (seen above) with accentuating orange trim. New fog lamp rings were installed, along with front and rear light bezels, door handle recess covers, puddle lamps, and a tailgate handle surround – all in orange. Although mostly an appearance package, the Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian II also came with tech upgrades, such as a Mitsubishi Smartphone Link Display Audio (SDA) system, rain, and dusk sensors, keyless go, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, bi-xenon headlights with integrated LED day running lights, cruise control, and a rearview camera.
Now, there’s nothing certain, and if anything it’s a rumor, but the newest concept by SVP could actually be Mitsubishi Motors way of testing the waters of an off-road vehicle entering other markets while in the UK. The 2019 Mitsubishi Triton is an off-road pickup truck, designed to compete with other off-road trucks like the 2019 Ram 1500 and 2020 Jeep Gladiator. The recent concept by SVP is designed for the Mitsubishi Outlander and is called the Outlander Shogun Sport. Let’s see what goes into turning this SUV into an off-road vehicle.
SVP has upgraded the shocks and suspension system by working with Koni and Walkinshaw Performance to develop a new suspension package, and although the Outlander Shogun Sport still rides on the standard 18-inch wheels of the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander, it comes with some beefy wheels. BF Goodrich all-terrain tires, they needed some extra space, and the wheel arches were extended to accommodate them. If needing a little help getting into the vehicle, black side steps bridge the two wheel arches.
The style of the SVP Outlander Shogun Sport concept is mostly blacked-out, with blacked-out head- and tail-lamps surrounds, a blacked-out rear spoiler, front grille, badges, and decals. There’s also an addition of lights for increased visibility when the sun goes down, including the PIAA driving lamps above the grille to the LED light bar attached to the roof. Although not standard in North America, the Mitsubishi Outlander overseas comes standard with a 181hp 2.4-liter turbodiesel inline four-cylinder engine capable of generating 317 lb-ft of torque, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. The same goes for the Outlander Shogun Sport concept.
See what we’re getting at here? Why take a model in the American market and only make a concept overseas? Before Mitsubishi enters the U.S. market with a midsize truck, they may want to test how well consumers respond to an off-road by SUV, the car segment they’re known for. Share your thoughts about it on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media and join the discussion.