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by David Zalstein

Mitsubishi will enter two all-electric vehicles in the Electric Class of the upcoming legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, July 3-8 2012.

Confirming earlier reports on CarAdvice, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution (pictured top) is a specially-prepared competition car based on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV EV but while the Evolution uses the same motor, drive battery and other major components as the standard i-MiEV the competition car features a racing-specific tube-frame chassis and the use of carbonfibre to reduce weight and improve aerodynamic performance.

The i-MiEV Evolution is no city runabout with 18-inch wheels, a single 80kW motor driving the front wheels and two more 80kW motors driving the rear wheels meaning a 240kW four-wheel-drive road-weapon with superior performance and handling.

Piloting the electric monster will be Hiroshi Masuoka (pictured above); Mitsubishi Motors test driver and the first Japanese driver to post consecutive overall victories in the Dakar Rally. “Given the tough driving conditions that Pikes Peak is known for, I’m really keen to show people the world over that electric vehicles are capable of gutsy motive performance and excellent handling in addition to their superior environmental performance,” Masuoka said. Mitsubishi says it will use the technical know-how garnered through the i-MiEV Evolution’s development and usage for the development of future EV models with superior durability and reliability.

Also competing will be a 49kW production i-MiEV modified for the event with an aerodynamic front bumper and roll bars for safety. American off-road racer Beccy Gordon (pictured above) will be in charge of steering the i-MiEV Evolution’s sibling up the treacherous route.

“I’m really happy to be able to drive the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (pictured below) in the Pikes Peak race and am looking forward to giving it my best in an electric car, the type of vehicle that is set to become a major player in motor sports in future,” Gordon said.

Since the $48,800 Mitsubishi i-MiEV went on sale to the public in August 2011, Mitsubishi has sold 38 of the EVs.




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