Mitsubishi has announced it will enter two vehicles in the Electric Class of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, including a competition version of its i-MiEV vehicle, known as the i-MiEV Evolution, plus a production-class Mitubishi i.
The i-MiEV Evolution will use the same motor, battery and major components as the production car but it will be fitted in a tube-frame chassis with a carbon fiber body to reduce weight and improve aerodynamics.
Comprising a single motor driving the front, and two motors driving the rear wheels, the car's four-wheel-drive system should provides good traction and handling.
The i-MiEV Evolution will be driven by Hiroshi Masuoka who will also serve as the team manager. He works in Mitsubishi’s Product Strategy Office but was the first Japanese driver to post consecutive victories in the Dakar Rally. He started running in the Dakar back in 1987 and won 2002 and ’03.
"Given the tough driving conditions that Pikes Peak is known for, I'm really keen to show people that electric vehicles are capable of gutsy performance and excellent handling in addition to their superior environmental performance."
Meanwhie, the production Mitsubishi i will more closely resemble the road car but it has been modified with a more aerodynamic front bumper, while a rollcage and other safety equipment has been fitted.
This car will be driven by Beccy Gordon, a winner in the Score International Off-Road Racing Series and member of the famous Gordon racing family. "I'm really happy to be able to drive the Mitsubishi i in the Pikes Peak race and am looking forward to giving it my best in an electric car, the type of vehicle that is set to become a major player in motor sports in future."
Mitsubishi will use the technical information gathered from i-MiEV Evolution's development and participation at Pikes Peak to assist in the development of future EV models, specifically with an eye on with durability and reliability.