The all-electric Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III will battle for honours at the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Like last year's MiEV Evolution II, the drivetrain of the Evolution III features four electric motors (two at the front and two at the rear). Combined power output has been upped to 450kW from 400kW. To complement the increase in power, Mitsubishi says that it has modified the all-wheel drive system to improve traction and handling.
The MiEV Evolution III's tube-frame chassis employs new materials in order to reduce weight. The bulk of the car's body looks to be carried over from last year's Evolution II, except for the front end which been reworked to increase downforce, with the most noticeable changes being the lengthened carbon fibre front spoiler.
Mitsubishi is hoping to improve on last year's result, where the team finished 13th and 14th overall. In the EV category they finished second and third, 35 and 37 seconds behind Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima in his custom-built E-Runner.
Driving the MiEV Evolution III this year will be the same team as last year: Hiroshi Masuoka and Greg Tracy. Masuoka is a vehicle development driver for the company, as well as being Dakar Rally champion back in 2002 and 2003. Tracy, on the other hand, has not only six motorcycle class victories at Pikes Peak, but also helped to set a Guinness World Record with a double loop at the 2012 X Games.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is annual event in the Rocky Mountains that winds and wends its way through a 20km course encompassing 156 corners. It starts at around 2.9km above sea level and finishes at the 4.3km mark.