Mitsubishi L200 special editions star at the CV Show 2017

  • Mad Top Gear Desert Warrior L200 one-off worth £100k
  • Plus Barbarian SVP limited edition from £29k
  • More ‘Special Vehicle Projects’ coming soon

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV commercial has been upgraded with a new EV button, which means you can now tell it when to run on electric power alone – great news if you operate near one of the future ultra-low emissions zones. But we’re betting almost no-one who visits the Mitsubishi stand at the CV Show 2017 will appreciate this enhancement.

They’ll be too busy looking at a new pair of L200 pickup trucks instead.

Both of them are painted Electric Blue and covered in black accessories – but while the Barbarian SVP limited edition is certainly eye-catching, the one-off L200 Desert Warrior parked in the flower bed behind it is utterly outrageous.

The Mitsubishi L200 Desert Warrior at the CV Show 2017

Can’t really ignore the Desert Warrior, so let’s deal with that first. Also occasionally referred to as 'Project Swamp', this unique build comes courtesy of Top Gear magazine writer – and new Top Gear USA television host – Tom Ford, who wanted to create the ‘pre-runner’ of his dreams.

A pre-runner is a kind of off-road racing truck, designed to pre-run – hence the name – desert racing stages. As such this particular L200 is no longer anything like it was when it left the factory.

That’s a little unfair – the interior is largely untouched, aside from the new Cobra bucket seats. But from the cut-back front bumper and significant wheel arch extensions (it’s 50mm wider front and rear) to the 36-inch tyres and uprated suspension, this truck is designed to cope with much rougher stuff than Peterborough high street.

The range of upgrades continues with an external roll cage – because Tom wanted to keep the interior functional (plus it looks cool, which presumably doesn’t hurt) ­– self-inflating system for those massive tyres, and an LED lighting bar that can apparently be seen from two kilometres away…

There’s also a 9,500lb winch, no less than seven GoPro cameras – including one on a drone – and a pair of spare wheels mounted in drop down fashion at the rear. You’re probably also wondering about the wing; it’s been recycled from a Beagle Pup aircraft.

The GoPro drone lives inside that (of course it does), while beneath it is stashed what’s been described as a ‘survival moped’ – which is basically a mountain bike with a 20hp motor attached. The L200 currently produces the usual 180hp from its 2.4-litre turbodiesel, but we’ve been told that some performance enhancements are in the works.

Basically the Desert Warrior is equipped for the apocalypse. Estimates put the total cost of the build, handled by Ralph Hosier of RH Engineering and Discovery Channel fame, at around £100,000.

So, no, you can’t have one.

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian SVP at the CV Show 2017

You can, however, buy an L200 Barbarian SVP. Given the 11pm-on-a-Friday-night similarity, you won’t be surprised to know that this is Mitsubishi UK’s effort to build a showroom-viable tribute to the Desert Warrior.

SVP stands for Special Vehicle Projects, a new programme in the UK for Mitsubishi that will lead to the creating of more limited edition vehicles in future. Kicking things off, just 250 examples of this L200 will be offered; half in Electric Blue, half in Cosmic Black. The price is £28,479 plus VAT for either colour.

Much more of a styling exercise than an off-rode overhaul, the Barbarian SVP justifies this expense with the following items:

  • Black 17-inch alloy wheels with BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres
  • Unique black wheel arch extensions and new grille design
  • Light bezels, foglamp surrounds, roof rails and rear bumper – all in black
  • Shark-fin inspired side steps
  • Loadbed illumination
  • Puddle lamps
  • Soft-opening tailgate damper
  • SVP badge
  • Leather and faux suede seats with SVP stiching
  • Limited edition number
  • Illuminated Barbarian sill plates
  • Touchscreen infotainment with sat-nav and Bluetooth
  • Cruise control
  • Automatic lights and wipers
  • Keyless go
  • Reversing camera

It’s powered by the 180hp 2.4-litre turbodiesel, and you can choose between a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. Super Select four-wheel drive is standard.

The Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian SVP is on sale now.

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