The Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin

1979

Mitsubishi Pinin

A Japanese car, with Italian styling. The Mitsubishi Pinin came about as a result of contract between Mitsubishi Motors and Pininfarina, the Italian car firm.

Mitsubishi Pinin History

The Pinin was a compact SUV (small-size Sport Utility Vehicle), based on the already successful Pajero iO, released in June 1998. The name ‘iO’ came from the Italian for ‘I’ or ‘me’ in order to symbolise the car as being easy to drive and your very own Pajero (the Pajero was a larger SUV model). The iO was available in three, or five door versions.

The Pinin differed from the standard iO as it was produced exclusively for the European market by Pininfarina. It featured new Italian styling to make it more appealing for the European market.

Mitsubishi and Pininfarina Collaboration

Pininfarina first collaborated with Mitsubishi on the five-door iO model, launched in August 1998. Pininfarina enhanced the standard five door model, creating a model called the "Sorrento", named after the southern Italian resort. The Sorrento could be distinguished from standard 5-door model as it featured exclusive and stylish exterior upgrades. Including a two-tone colour scheme, chrome-plated vertical bar grille, and side garnish, an exclusive spare tire cover and bumper guard. Inside, the Sorento also had an upgrade, including Italian seat upholstery and the Pininfarina badge on the dashboard.

The First Mitsubishi Pinin

The very first Mitsubishi Pinin rolled off the production line at the brand new Pininfarina Bairo Canavese Factory in Turin in July 1999. The vehicle was a compact SUV, which combined the technological heritage of the Pajero series with the sophisticated styling and finishing touches of the Italian Pininfarina firm. Initially production consisted of the three-door model, with five-door production starting autumn 2000. The Italian factory carried out assembly and finishing operations, with some components such as the GDI engine and transmission system sourced from Japan.

Mitsubishi Pinin Engine and 4WD

The GDI engine used in the Pinin was taken from its cousin, the Pajero. Mitsubishi's revolutionary 1.8-litre environmental engine. A popular engine for its low-emission levels, and high power characteristics. The engine generated up to 130PS, and delivered 18.5 kg.m torque at a leisurely 3,500 rpm. The GDI engine set the Pinin up perfectly for driving around town whilst also supplying plenty of power for expressway cruising or off-road work.

The Pinin featured Mitsubishi's SS4-i viscous coupling-type four-wheel drive system, a smaller and lighter upgrade of the Super Select 4WD system. The system allowed the driver to select from four modes, to choose the optimum one for any particular road surface.