At the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in July, Mitsubishi will enter an Evolution version of its i-MiEV electric car, alongside a production i-MiEV, in the new electric category.
Mitsubishi Evolutions, race-ready versions of the vanilla Lancer, became legendary on the rally circuit for their exceptional handling. Now Mitsubishi is taking the Evo designation into the future, with the first i-MiEV Evolution, a performance version of its pod-like i-MiEV electric city car.
Mitsubishi built the i-MiEV Evo for the 2012 Pikes Peak Hill Climb, a race featuring 156 turns over 20km with a 1400m ascent. The company says it started with a stock i-MiEV, but the specs show heavy modification. Along with a completely new, carbon-fibre body, the i-MiEV Evo gets three 80kW electric motors, one for the front wheels and two at the rear. These motors get juice from a 35-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.
The stock i-MiEV, one of which will also run the course, uses a single 49kW motor powering the rear wheels and fed by a 16kWh battery pack. It seems obvious which one should win.
At last year's Hill Climb, the Nissan Leaf conquered its division of one car. Nissan has not entered this year's event as of yet.
The Hill Climb, which takes place on 8 July, will see seven cars competing in the electric category that's open to both production and custom-built cars. The i-MiEV Evo will find it tough going in overall competition against the likes of Summit's Her-02, HCE's Lightning XP12 and Tajima Motor's Monster Sport Pikes Peak Special.
Toyota Motorsport also has an undisclosed vehicle in the electric division, which could be a race-modified version of the recently unveiled RAV4 EV.