Big 4x4s are heading ever closer to enjoying green credentials, and Mitsubishi’s Shogun is the latest to benefit.
The 2010 Shogun 4x4 range has been whacked with Mitsubishi’s Intelligent Motion stick, and as a result, gets a raft of tweaks to help it deliver greater performance, combined with significantly improved economy and lower emissions.
With an 18 per cent boost in power and torque - up from 168bhp to 197bhp and 373Nm to 441Nm respectively - plus significantly improved economy, the five-door auto, as tested here, is now able to deliver 33.2mpg, up from 26.7mpg.
Key to the economy savings is the fitting of a new high efficiency alternator. With its optimised control logic, the alternator manages generation and discharging to meet the Shogun’s electrical needs, reducing demand on the engine.
A lower idling speed of 600rpm contributes useful fuel savings, while an ultra-low friction engine and differential oil also reduce drag and help overall efficiency.
An aluminum bonnet helps save weight, and a heat exchanger on the automatic transmission aims to minimise frictional losses on start up.
Exchanging heat between engine coolant and automatic transmission fluid, the warm-up period is shorter, allowing the torque converter lockup to activate sooner.
This explains why the temperature gauge on our Shogun LWB Elegance took ages to show any signs of the engine reaching its normal temperature.
Lift off the throttle though, and the Shogun now feels like it will roll forever. There is very little drag, and the engine sits comfortably on its new, ultra-low idle speed, allowing the Shogun to glide without throttle with the stealth of a Ninja.
Driving it is still a fairly crude experience though. You need to apply lots of steering lock and be prepared to lean when negotiating even the most gentle of corners, while remembering to talk in a raised voice over the vocal 3.2-litre four-pot diesel each time the throttle is pressed.
On the upside, an increased towing capacity gives it elite membership to a club of just a handful of 4x4s that can legitimately handle a 3.5-tonne towing capacity.