We first saw sketches of what Mitsubishi's i-MiEV might look like when it arrives in the United States, and now we have the first official images a week before the car's public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Sure, the production-ready i-MiEV you see here loses many of the aggressive-looking elements of the preview sketch, but Mitsubishi has indeed followed through on its promise to offer more robust dimensions and an upgraded interior.
The U.S.-spec i-MiEV is 11.2 inches longer, 4.3 inches wider and 0.2 inches taller than the JDM version. We're glad that Mitsubishi has added a lot of length and width while only minimally increasing height, since that should beef up the rather narrow i-MiEV's stance here on American roads. Inside, the interior looks substantially more comfortable, with a two-tone color scheme and a redesigned center stack, encompassing updated audio and HVAC controls.
Mitsubishi is still targeting an on-sale date near the end of 2011 for the all-electric i-MiEV, with prices coming in below $30,000 (before government rebates). Hit the jump for Mitsubishi's official press blast.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will host the world premiere of the North American version of its i-MiEV new-generation electric vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show (LAAS) held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from Wednesday, November 17 to Sunday November 28 (open to the general public from Friday, November 19). In addition, the Outlander Sport compact CUV (RVR in Japan, ASX in Europe), which is to go on sale in the North American market from the end of this year as well as other core vehicles for the North American market are planned for display at the LAAS.
The North American version of the i-MiEV, in comparison to the Japanese- and European-spec i-MiEVs, features an enhanced, enlarged body structure to secure plenty of space for four adults and better meet the expectations of U.S. consumers. In addition, the North American-spec i-MiEV's front and rear bumpers are all-new. Airbags that detect passengers and control deployment force, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and Active Stability Control (ASC) are all standard equipment.
Also, with the Outlander Sport's mating of a 2.0-liter MIVEC*1 engine to an INVECS*2III-CVT Sportronic (six-speed sport-mode CVT) transmission (five-speed manual transmission also available on some trim levels), the Outlander Sport provides superior fuel efficiency and low emissions in a compact CUV package that can seat five.
*1 : Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system
*2 : Intelligent and Innovative Vehicle Electronic Control System
North American Version i-MiEV Main Specifications (numbers in [ ] denote difference with Japanese model)
Length : 3,680mm [+285mm]
Width : 1,585mm [+110mm]
Height : 1,615mm [+5mm]
Tread (front/rear) : 1,420mm/1,380mm [+110mm/+110mm]