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In 1997, Mitsubishi answered the demand for a mid-size SUV with the Montero Sport, a smaller comparison to the regular Montero. Although built on the same chassis, the new Montero Sport incorporated a lower, lighter, and shorter body.
Three models were introduced; the ES with two wheel drive and a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine, the LS with four wheel drive and a 3.0 liter V6 engine, and the XLS with two or four wheel drive option and a 3.0 liter V6 engine. Standard 5-speed manual transmission came in the ES and LS, while the XLS had a 4-speed automatic.
Known as the Montero Sport in North America, South America, and the Philippines; Challenger in Japan and Australia; Pajero Sport in Europe; Nativa in Central America and the Middle East; Shogun Sport in the United Kingdom; and G-Wagon in Thailand.