Disclaimer: All photos in this post belong to the HKToycar Facebook page. All credit to the page for sharing the news.
It is the beginning of the year, and that means there is a Dakar rally happening around somewhere. It used to be a genuine "Dakar" rally until 2007, where most iterations ended in the Senegalese capital, and every round penetrated the African deserts. However, a terrorist threat in the 2008 New Year's eve forced the 2008 race to be abandoned, and since then the Dakar was held in South America (bearing the name for the sake of the brand). This year, the event has once again shifted continents, and headed straight to the heart of Middle East.
Mitsubishi used to build some cool cars back then, and they were keen on proving their technology on the beaten track. They were struck by the rallying fever ever since the Lancer emerged as a strong performer (eventually winning the notorious Safari Rally in 1975 as the great grandpa of Evos, 1600GSR). They also wanted to prove the capability of their new SUV, Pajero (obviously named Montero in America due to a hilarious reason, and called Shogun in the UK for yet unknown reasons), and took the stock Pajero to the 1983 Dakar with the late great Andrew Cowan behind the wheel of one. Two years later, Patrick Zanirolli drove another Pajero to the top of the podium before any other cars. It took 24 years, and a horrific diesel engined disaster of a rally raid prototype (and interestingly a shift from the flagship Pajero base to a "Racing Lancer") for Mitsubishi to look back again. During this period, Mitsubishi churned out some of the finest rally - raid machines ever made, and pitted a glorious team inclusive of some brilliant drivers. They were so dominant at one point, you can have a look at the 2002 Dakar car category results to understand the scale.
Mitsubishi was so serious about the Dakar efforts, they decided to build a fully fledged rally car based on the 3 door Pajero as a homologation special, and named it Pajero Evolution. Sadly though, all of that belongs to the past, and now we are left with a bunch of dull and boring boxes on wheels with the Mitsubishi badge.
It is nice to see Inno64 releasing a set of new castings, which will include the Pajero Evolution. This is the first time it will make a 1/64 appearance, and judging by the looks, it would not disappoint (those wheels and tires can kill!).
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There will be more cars coming alongside, but this one surely excites me the most.
All credit to the HKToycar page for the intel. Have a great week ahead!