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 truck and the Mirage EV.
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Mitsubishi Motors to Enter i-MiEV Prototype in 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Thu, Mar 01, 2012 - Tokyo -

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will enter the i-MiEV Prototype in the 2012 edition (July 8) of the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb held annually in Colorado in the United States. The i-MiEV Prototype is a prototype based on the MMC's all-electric i-MiEV model, the first 100% electric vehicle (EV) to go into mass production and is already on the road in Japan, Europe and North America, with plans to expand to other markets.

The i-MiEV Prototype is to be driven by Hiroshi Masuoka, in many parts of the world known as a legendary race driver whom during the course of decades of racing success took on the brutal Dakar Rally 21 times, winning it consecutively in 2002 and 2003, driving Mitsubishi Pajero and Pajero Evolution models respectively.

The i-MiEV Prototype will use the same EV components as the current production i-MiEV. MMC 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.

In addition to MMC's participation in the race, engineers from MMC's development division as well as from its partner manufacturers of batteries, motors and other EV components will be sent to the event to collaborate closer on the sharing of technology and knowhow for the purpose of further boosting MMC's EV development capabilities.

* The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is an annual automobile and motorcycle hill climb to the 4,300 meter summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado with entrants covering an elevation difference of almost 1,500 meters. First run in 1916 the hill climb is one of the oldest motor sport races in America. Atmospheric pressure, temperature, weather and other conditions vary significantly between the start and finish and this requires optimum tuning to ensure the vehicles produce their maximum performance all the way up.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Mike McDonald
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like this idea. It merges Mitsubishi new, more economical direction with its rallying past.
      Mike McDonald
      • 3 Years Ago
      Make a road legal version called the i-MiEVolution haha
      Bryan Lund
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's my Mitsu, always testing, always refining, always perfecting. I believe I have found my car company for life.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Still desperately watching how the next Evolution model will pan out. Let's hope they don't screw it up. All their other cars suck but the Evo is simply fantastic. It's amazing what they can pull off when they try. They seem to care only about boring drab cars as of late and made the Evo X a bit too heavy for my tastes. Let's hope they can go back to something like the Evo 9 and get people rallying behind the company again. We need niche vehicles like this to keep the mainstream from sagging on performance. I still remember when the Evo IX in 2006 had the same 300hp as the Mustang GT yet was over 1000lbs lighter. That's the Mitsu I remember..... They need to step it up with all these 400hp muscle cars roaming the streets.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pikes Peak should be on every reader's bucket list.
      Bryan Lund
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mitsu's actually never lost a step in production engineering...their rigs have always been top-notch.
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