The 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is fast approaching. Mitsubishi is entering the EV class with two newly designed electric MiEV Evolution II prototypes after last year's inaugural two-car campaign saw a 2nd place finish with the i-MiEV Evolution.
The pair of all-new MiEV Evolution II racing prototypes will be run by Hiroshi Masuoka, two-time Dakar Rally champ and Greg Tracy, six-time Pikes Peak overall motorcycle champ and 2002 SCORE international off-road series champ.
These powerful all-electric machines feature a water-cooled four-motor drivetrain (two front and two rear), based on the street version i-MiEV electric motor. With a software upgrade and hardware reinforcements, power is upped from the 65.7 hp production motor to 134 hp of the race car. There is also a power increase over last year's 321.7 hp i-MiEV Evolution to the new prototype's 536.2 hp. The MiEV Evolution II is said to reach speeds of up to 140 mph, according to Mitsubishi Motors. The lithium-ion battery by Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ) is also upgraded to a capacity of 50 k wh. The battery tray housing is now made of carbon-fiber reinforced polymer for weight reduction and added durability. A new battery tray position has also helped lower the center of gravity for improved handling characteristics.
Helping slow and create "free" energy for the batteries is a new competition driving regenerative braking system. which not only provides excellent stopping power but also feeds energy back into the main lithium-ion drive battery pack.
Super All-Wheel Control (S-A WC), which is a redesigned version of the automakers all-wheel drive technology helps put the power to the ground while a tube-frame chassis retains a rigid structural integrity for stability and strength. Improved cornering is also thanks to a double-wishbone setup with coil-over racing dampers.
A new exterior design is also present on the 2013 car. Built for improved aerodynamics and more efficient downforce at high altitude, the new CAD-designed carbon-fiber body will also help to reduce drag.
Mitsubishi Motors used the data from last year's race, and plans to do the same again, for future development in durability and reliability for all production electric, hybrid, gas and diesel cars they will put on the road. Some of the data received was used to develop the twin electric motor-based Super All- Wheel Control (S-A WC) found on the Outlander PHEV. In addition to research for street cars, some aspects are carried over to the Pikes Peak cars from production models including, the Motor Control Unit (MCU) and the Electric Power Steering (EPS) found on the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander crossover. MCU oversees/manages the electric motors, while EPS does just what the name describes.