The Mitsubishi i-MiEV should hit U.S. shores in late 2011, but if a report from Automotive News pans out to be true, then we shouldn't expect the U.S.-bound i-MiEV to look like either the Japan- (pictured above) or Euro-spec versions that we've laid eyes on before. Gregory Adams, head of marketing and product planning for Mitsubishi Motors North America, recently told Automotive News that the U.S.-bound i-MiEVs will be wider than versions offered elsewhere. Adams suggests that the added width will suit the American market while also helping the vehicle meet U.S. safety standards.
In addition to catering to our super-sized tastes, U.S.-bound i-MiEVs will have an improved interior and come loaded with features that are not available on Japan- or Euro-spec models. The Japan-spec model comes equipped with the basics – air conditioning, power windows and door locks and an audio system – but lacks features such as cruise control, wireless connectivity, satellite radio and navigation. All this for (we expect) less than $30,000, not counting the deduction of $7,500 for the electric vehicle federal tax credit.
And whether you love it or hate it, that distinctive egg shape is here to stay. According to Adams, the U.S. bound i-MiEV, though bigger in size than its cousins, will retain the peculiar design elements that make it stand out amongst the crowd. The European-spec i-MiEV will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]