It’s shaping up to be quite a nostalgic week, especially for fans of Japanese cars. We were greeted with the Toyota Mark X Final Edition yesterday, a farewell to a series that started 50 years ago with the Corona Mark II. It’s a great story, but this one will resonate more with Malaysians, as the Mitsubishi Pajero is a household name that needs no introduction. A true icon.

MMC has started selling the Mitsubishi Pajero Final Edition, a 700-unit run to bid farewell to the famous 4×4, which will be discontinued in the Japan market in August. Note that this does not involve other markets, but it’s possibly a matter of time before the ageing icon bows for good. The Pajero Sport sold in our region is a completely different beast, as it’s based on the Triton pick-up truck.

Launched in 1982, the Pajero became popular due to its blend of off-road capability and (relative) passenger car feel. The second-generation Pajero surfaced in 1991 with the now famous Super Select 4WD system.

A big shift came in 1999, where the third-generation Pajero adopted a monocoque body with a built-in ladder frame, achieving both weight reduction and high rigidity. In 2006, a heavily-revised version debut as the fourth-gen Pajero, which persists till today. As of March 2019, over 640,000 units of the Pajero has been sold in Japan, in addition to the countless units sold worldwide and used in harsh conditions.

Speaking of that, conditions don’t come harsher than in the Dakar Rally, and the Pajero is an undisputed legend in the world’s toughest race. Since its first entry in 1983, the Pajero has collected 12 overall Dakar Rally wins, including seven successive victories in a golden spell for the 4×4. Pajero = Dakar, and the race success it enjoyed burnished the model’s reputation for being tough as nails.

Lastly, the JDM Pajero Final Edition is based on the highest spec available and includes a black leather interior, powered front seats, seven-inch touchscreen head unit with navigation, black roof rails, a long sunroof, rear differential lock, front/side/curtain airbags and illuminated scuff plates with the LE’s serial number. Buyers will also get unique stickers and a Citizen watch with matching serial numbers.

Powered by a 3.2 litre turbodiesel mated to a five-speed Invecs-II automatic transmission and Super Select 4WD II, the Mitsubishi Pajero Final Edition is priced at 4,530,600 yen (RM168,343) in Japan. Check out the massive image archive below. Which version of the Pajero is the one permanently embedded in your head?

GALLERY: Mitsubishi Pajero archive images

GALLERY: Mitsubishi Pajero in the Dakar Rally