The Mitsubishi "i" mini-car has been named the 2007 Car of the Year by the Automotive Researchers' & Journalists' Conference of Japan (RJC). No Mitsubishi car has ever won this award before. the "i" was developed to be a high end small car with a lot of interior space while maintaining impact safety. The "i" has a rear mid-engine layout with the engine mounted on its side under the back seat. Upon receiving the award, MMC president Osamu Masuko stated that Mitsubishi would continue developing new models based on this layout, because of the high levels of ride comfort and impact safety they have achieved.

[Source: Mitsubishi] Tokyo, November 15, 2006 -- Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today announced that the "i" has been awarded the "RJC Car of the Year 2007" by the Automotive Researchers' & Journalists' Conference of Japan (RJC) *1. The "i" is the first Mitsubishi car to win RJC Car of the Year.

Ushering in a new age for the minicar, "i" was developed as an innovative Premium Small Car that successfully overcomes the tradeoffs traditionally associated with the category: design versus comfortable interior space; comfortable interior space versus impact safety. Mitsubishi Motors has conquered these challenges by developing a new and leading edge "rear-midship layout" that mounts the engine forward of the rear axle line and permits three new "innovations" within the category's dimensional constraints: futuristic and uptown styling; agile handling and a comfortable ride; and excellent multidirectional impact safety. This highly original exterior and interior design, which is delivered by the ingenious platform, brought the grand prize in the award.

MMC president Osamu Masuko made the following remarks: "We are honored to receive this significant award today with our "i" minicar that has found favor with customers for its outstanding and futuristic design. We will keep working on the development of customer-oriented models with this unique "rear-midship layout" platform that brings new levels of ride comfort and impact safety together with innovative design."

*1: In this year's RJC Car of the Year, 62 members of a selection committee considered 25 domestic vehicles whose production plan is more than five thousand vehicles per year, launched between November 1, 2005 and October 31, 2006.

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