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Motoring: New Shogun better than ever.

Byline: ROBIN ROBERTS

A NEW-LOOK Mitsubishi Shogun is heading for the UK next summer.

It will be radically upgraded, better equipped and more refined.

Unveiled in Barcelona this week the new Shogun range has 15 new European features, including active stability and traction control systems and Mitsubishi's new styling face.

With brightwork chrome conspicuous by its absence, the front end of the 2003 Shogun embodies a centrally mounted grille wing bearing an assertive three-diamond corporate logo.

This host of styling and technology enhancements will come at no extra cost as Mitsubishi adopts at least ``carry over'' pricing strategy across a simplified and higher specification range.

With an unchallenged motorsport rally-raid heritage, emphasising the sports in sports utility, the 2003 Shogun will include side airbags and easily assimilated digital instrumentation as standard equipment.

As the new Shogun sustains the model's reputation for distinctive looks, commanding road presence, dynamic driving qualities and impressive equipment levels Mitsubishi's styling guru, Olivier Boulay, has hinted at striking, future 4x4 contenders.

The stunning Shogun (or Pajero) Evolution 2+2 was taken from computer image to prototype in two months and has now been transformed into a full-blooded, rally-winning, taking victory on the recent United Arab Emirates desert challenge on its competitive debut.

Boulay, Mitsubishi's corporate general manager in charge of product design, believes the Shogun (Pajero) Evo, or Desert GT concept, could become a limited-run production vehicle, backed by a strong business case.

He revealed, ``We do not build concept cars for their own sake. Further down the road, or track, this car provides strong visual cues which will influence the next generation Shogun and other vehicles.''

It forms the advanced guard for a new style of Mitsubishi with more sculpted integrated lines and high-tech interiors mirroring uncluttered, classic Japanese design from other spheres including electronic goods.

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RADICALLY UPGRADED: The Mitsubishi Shogun 2003 has 15 new European features, including active stability and traction control systems
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 29, 2002
Words:321
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