top of page

1995 Mitsubishi Zaus

The Mitsubishi Zaus was an off-road concept vehicle that debuted at the 31st Tokyo Motor Show in 1995. It took Mitsubishi's Pajero's on and off-road performance and added wind-in-the-hair motoring! Zaus is an acronym for Zooming Adventure Utility Sports. The Zaus was created by thoroughly modifying an SWB Pajero to offer open-air freedom previously only found in a Jeep. The fully open 2-seater body also featured a detachable windscreen, a sturdy roll bar, minimal front, and rear overhang, and an electric winch.

A punchy 3.5-liter V6 engine powered the nimble two-seater, and with very short overhangs front and rear and adjustable road clearance, the Zaus was designed as the 4x4 fun car of the future. Zaus offered road clearance adjustment that could raise the front by 60mm and the rear by 80mm, while the air intakes for the engine were located on top of the mudguards to help the car ford rivers and streams safely.

The body design incorporated half doors further to promote the "open" style of motoring, but side protection was still maintained. The Zaus was also fitted with an integral roll bar system. A nifty feature was at the rear, where the spare tire carrier was fitted with a hydraulic damper that took the effort out of removing or reattaching the spare wheel.

Zaus's interior was extensively waterproofed with water-resistant measures to give it a true all-weather open-top capability. Consequently, the switchgear was designed larger to allow easier use when the driver is wearing gloves. Inside, the two occupants ride in sporty Recaro seats with 4-point seat belts, driver SRS airbag, and the latest techno-gadgets, including a popup multi-screen providing external temperature, vehicle attitude, altitude, and latitude, height above sea level, and other navigational information.

The Zaus rode on 265/70R18 tires on 18-inch, 8-spoke alloy wheels, plus the latest version of Super Select 4WD system from Mitsubishi's Pajero featuring 3-mode 4-speed automatic transmission. Ultimately, the Zaus remained as a concept and did not go into production.


Images: Mitsubishi

Explore by Year, Make or Designer
bottom of page