Friday, March 02, 2012

Mitsubishi readies i-MiEV-based prototype for Pikes Peak climb this summerMitsubishi readies i-MiEV-based prototype for Pikes Peak climb this summer

Sending an all-electric vehicle up Pikes Peak is not new – a Nissan Leaf and a custom EV from AC Propulsion made the climb in 2011 – but that shouldn't stop anyone from trying to reach the 14,110-foot height in Colorado better, faster and in a cooler car.

Enter Mitsubishi and a radically reworked all-electric i-MiEV Prototype that will participate in the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this July. Based on sketches released today, the car is a one-seat racer the certainly looks ready for on-track duty. It also looks nothing like the bean-shaped i-MiEV we've grown accustomed to. We're certainly curious how well it'll make the peak, since the powertrain is made up of "the same EV components as the current production i-MiEV" and it'll be piloted by well-known driver Hiroshi Masuoka, who won the Dakar Rally in 2002 and 2003 behind the wheels of a Mitsubishi Pajero and Pajero Evolution, respectively.

The idea here, of course, isn't just to have a good time. Mitsubishi will "use the data obtained through its participation in the event to enhance the durability and reliability of pure EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs which it will be bringing to market in the near future." Read: plug-in versions of the Outlander, the i-MiEV-based truckand the Mirage EV.