Nov 10, 2010 Update: Official photos and specifications released:
Mitsubishi has today released official images and dimensions of the U.S. spec version of its i-MiEV electric car.
It differentiates itself with the Australian (and the rest of the world) delivered i-MiEVs thanks to an all new front and rear bumper which hosts an enlarged chassis to better suit four adults and meet U.S. consumer demands.
To meet different regulations Mitsubishi has also modified the North American-spec i-MiEV to include passenger detecting airbags, Active Stability Control (ASC) and tyre pressure monitoring system as standard equipment.
Dimensions (compared to Australian delivered vehicles):
- Length : 3,680mm [+285mm]
- Width : 1,585mm [+110mm]
- Height : 1,615mm [+5mm]
- Tread (front/rear) : 1,420mm/1,380mm [+110mm/+110mm]
Original article below
We all know Americans love everything bigger, be it supersized Coke bottles or cars. Given Mitsubishi is a smart company, it understands that in order for its brand new and revolutionary i-MiEV electric car to work in the United States, it needs to be a little bit bigger. Say hello to the wide-bodied i-MiEV.
Set to debut at this month's Los Angeles Auto Show, the slightly broader, squatter version of the i-MiEV is set to go on sale in the United States next year. Having sold just a few thousand of the normal version, Mitsubishi is set to scale up production (18,000 next fiscal year, 40,000 the year following) to take on the likes of the Nissan LEAF.
Officially the bigger i-MiEV isn't just to fit the average American, but also to pass tougher U.S. crash standards.
Fortunately for Americans, the federal tax credit for electric cars is a staggering $7,500 (states like California add even more incentive with an additional $5,000). So the Nissan LEAF ends up costing in the low $20,000 USD whilst the U.S.-spec i-MiEV is likely to be less than $30,000 retail, or about $18,000 in California.
Mitsubishi Australia Head of Corporate Communications, Lenore Fletcher, told CarAdvice the wide-bodied i-MiEV is currently only for the American market with no plans for the model to head down under.