The Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization has given the lamely-named Good Design Gold Prize to the Mitsubishi "i". The "i", launched last January in Japan, is designed by Mitsubishi as an "innovative Premium Small Car". The letter car is a four seater powered by a turbocharged 660cc three-cylinder.
Similar to the Smart ForTwo the whole power-train is mounted in the back between the rear wheels and even looks rather like a four dour, four seat Smart. It's rated at 42mpg with a 4 speed automatic. It's not clear what exactly is so innovative about the "i" other than the name, but a car like this would certainly be a good car to have in crowded city like New York or Toronto. On the other hand, cities like that typically have good mass transit which can be a lot less hassle than finding a parking space for even a car as diminutive as the 3.4m (11.1ft) long "i". The styling is nice enough for such a small car, but mechanically there doesn't appear to be much here that hasn't been done before. Maybe that's why it only got a "Good" design prize instead of a "Great" design. See the Mitsubishi press release after the jump.
"i" takes Good Design Gold Prize in Good Design Awards 2006
Tokyo, October 2, 2005 - Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today announced that the "i", which was developed as an innovative Premium Small Car, has been awarded the Good Design Gold Prize and the new eK Wagon a Good Design Award in the Good Design Awards 2006 run by the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization.
Already winner of the Good Design Gold Prize the "i" has also been nominated for the Good Design Grand Prize that is awarded to the most outstanding entry in all award categories.
The Good Design Awards, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, screens entries from all fields of human activity from the viewpoint that design is a required element in all fields of everyday life and of industry.
Good Design Special Prizes
Good Design Special Prizes are awarded to Good Design Award candidates judged to have particularly outstanding design qualities from the perspective of the contribution they make in terms of social, cultural and everyday life values. The Special Prizes comprise: Good Design Grand Award, Good Design Gold Award, Universal Design Award, Interaction Design Award and Ecology Design Award. The 15 winners of the Grand and Gold Awards are referred to as the Good Design Awards Best 15 in recognition of the distinguishing excellence of their designs.
Good Design Gold Award (conferred by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry)
This prize is awarded to those entries in each category that are judged to have design qualities of particularly outstanding excellence.
• "i" (launched in January 2006)
The Grand Prize winner will be selected from the 15 Gold Award candidates in a vote on the day of Good Design Awards presentation ceremony, October 25.
Good Design Award
Good Design Awards are presented to products and corporate activities selected for their superior design qualities in a screening process conducted by a jury of specialists.