• Feb 4th 2009 at 11:28AM
  • 16
Mitsubishi joins makers like Honda, Audi, Porsche, Suzuki, Subaru, and Kawasaki in pulling out of some form of motorsports because of... well, do we really need to say it? Neither the Mitsubishi Pajeros that won the Dakar Rally twelve times in total (out of 26 attempts), nor the diesel Racing Lancer that earned a seventh place in this year's race, will be seen plying the sands again any time soon. The Japanese automaker has ended its factory efforts in order to focus on its core business. Having stamped its red rhombus logo all over the Dakar after seven consecutive Dakar victories, its presence will be sorely missed come 2010. Official press release after the jump.

[Source: Mitsubishi]


Wednesday, 04 February 2009, 0500 GMT

* 26 entries, 12 victories, including 7 consecutive wins
* Deterioration in global economy forces decision
* Includes the Dakar Rally, Dakar Series and all cross-country races

TOKYO, February 4, 2009 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced today their decision to withdraw from the Dakar Rally, the Dakar Series and all cross-country rallies.

In its twenty-six entries in the event, Mitsubishi Motors won the rally a total of twelve times, including seven consecutive victories. In addition to this unparalleled record the company also gained 4WD technology that informs its production vehicles, most visible in their durability and off road performance.

The sudden deterioration of the global economy made it necessary for the company to focus its resources more tightly, and for this reason the decision was taken to withdraw its Mitsubishi Motorsports (MMSP) works team from all cross-country competitions.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      ops 2008 not 2208 numbers..
      • 6 Years Ago
      simple reason Mitsubishi pulished today in Tokio their new possible 2208 numbers (their business year ends March 2009) ... they face a loose of 60billion Yen or ~ $660million for 2008. They have no money to play Dakar.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, looks like a wanna-be Audi with that grill and LED headlights. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Lame that they cant come up with their own style...
        • 6 Years Ago
        yes, very nice except Mitsubishi started using that grill design before Audi.
        But on the other hand... Holy crap, that car has two doors. It's a blatant rip-off the camaro, Z4, pinto!
        • 6 Years Ago

        Haha... no. Audi didn't start using the "goatee" grill design until the B5 Audi A4s which were in 2005.
        There were not the first, it's just that recently Audi has completed adopted that grille into their design that it has become synonymous with their models.
        Other manufacturers to have used that grill design include: Mercedes, Volvo, Bugatti, etc.

        LED Lights? Again, Audi is not quite the first to think of the idea, one of the first to perhaps put it into production, but Lexus thought of it in their LS600h concept, Mitsubishi thought of it in their Lancer Sportback and Evolution concepts, Audi had it on their A5 concept, Acura NSX Concept, etc. The list goes on.

        Nice try to avert blame... but failed...

        Now if you really want to know what car Mitsubishi ripped that front grill design from, go look at the 1997 - 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse. It features the trapezoid grill design such as that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just like how Toyota started the chrome brake lights with the Supra. It only became popular when they implemented it with the Altezza.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Audi used that grill style befor ww2.... nice try to blame Audi...but failed..

        they even copyed Audi´s LED lights
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have always felt that their efforts were useless specially since they pulled out of the US market with their great off-roader which was the Pajero/Montero and replaced it with the ugly Endeavor....Sometimes these manufactures every time they move a step forward its followed by 2 steps backwards....
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mitsu's DAKAR efforts may have fallen on deaf ears here in the US (where most people don't know what a DAKAR, let alone a Pajero, is) but in the rest of the world, Mitsu's efforts made the Pajero one of their best selling vehicles (even selling at a price point close to Range Rovers). With the global economy the way it is today, those sales have tanked and unfortunately taken the DAKAR team with it. Sad day for real race fans.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I forgot to add, I am rather disappointed in Autoblog's (lack of) coverage of the Dakar.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bummer. I was looking forward to them working out the bugs they had during this year's Dakar - to create an interesting VW-Mitsubishi-Hummer three way duel next year.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This will make for a less interesting race, though it could let Hummer have an easy run at top spot -- assuming that GM doesn't jettison them into oblivion first.
        • 6 Years Ago
        slightly in/correct. Technically, the X-Raid team is privately owned. Said private owner though is a member of the family that owns a big stake in BMW (name of Quandt or something like that).

        Plus, ISTR that the actual Dakar-X3s were constructed and built by Magna, but not sure about that.

        Anyway, I was totally rooting for Nasser Al-Attiyah this year, hope he will finally be able to win it next year.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hopefully, this won't lead to a domino effect with other factory teams deciding to pull out as well. I believe VW and BMW also have factory teams. FWIW, the Hummer team is not a factory team, it is a Robby Gordon Motorsports team. They get sponsorship money from Hummer, but not significant factory engineering support.
        • 6 Years Ago
        VW has no intention of letting Robby have an easy time of it!
        • 6 Years Ago

        BMW has no factory race team at the Dakar, the BMW X3 CC are build up by the german X-Raid-Team, BMW only supports them with engine technology.
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