Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today gave two models their global debut at the 79th Geneva International Motor Show that began today at the Geneva Palexpo exhibition and conference complex.
The i MiEV1 SPORT AIR concept model gives material shape to MMC’s “Drive@earth” global tag-line.
The prototype i MiEV concept, meanwhile, is a precursor to the electric vehicle the company will introduce on the European market in 2010.
Also among the 15 vehicles on the MMC stand is the European-built Colt Clear Tec compact model, which boasts premium green performance with CO2 emissions of just 115g/km, as well as several other European models.
The i MiEV SPORT AIR is a concept for a sporty electric vehicle (hence SPORT) that gives an indication of the direction EVs may take in the future.
It also gives shape to MMC’s “Drive@earth” tagline announcing the company’s intention to deliver fun-to-drive motoring while at the same time placing a new emphasis on environmental issues.
The concept model is distinguished by its detachable “clear cutaway” roof panel which brings a wide open feel to the interior (hence AIR) for an exhilarating motoring experience,other features include a second-generation lithium-ion battery module with improved electrodes, while the body uses a number of new weight-reducing technologies.
i MiEV SPORT AIR takes i MiEV’s rear-midship platform and mounts on it a dramatic teardrop-shaped body that tapers towards the rear in a design that yields outstanding aerodynamic performance.
The styling also crafts a sporty image by seamlessly integrating an extensive glazed area with the body.
Other design features include the front and rear lamp units cleanly styled to produce a three-dimensional look; as well as the “clear cutaway” roof panel, designed to provide an exhilarating motoring experience. The panel incorporates a solar inlay that uses printed circuit board graphics in its design.
The wrap-around cockpit design, on the other hand, is styled to alert the driver to the high performance potential of the car the moment he sits behind the wheel.
The main controls and switches are all ergonomically grouped around the dial-type shifter, making for more positive location and operation by the driver.
i MiEV SPORT AIR employs the same rear-midship layout as i MiEV but uses a more powerful version of the permanent magnet synchronous electric motor that powers the base model, generating 60kW of power (against i MiEV’s 47kW) and 230Nm, against 180Nm.
The car also exploits its long wheelbase to locate the large-capacity lithium-ion battery system under the floor deck.
With a view to its introduction on the European market, the prototype i MiEV features several changes compared to the i MiEV due to be introduced on the Japanese market in summer 2009.
Front and rear tracks have been widened and front and rear overhangs have been extended to provide the higher levels of pedestrian protection expected in Europe as well as better occupant protection in the event of a rear-end collision. The changes result in a shape that hints strongly at the vehicle’s all-round stability.
The interior design features simple, clean styling and with a dial-type shifter and extensive use of circular shapes for the air vents and other elements, creating a welcoming interior space.
The snow-white body and ice-blue interior color derive from a “glacier” theme that was designed to evoke a strong ecological image. The printed circuit board pattern used in the surfaces and motifs adds a high-tech look to the interior.