Two electric Mitsubishi race cars will compete in this year’s annual running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs, Colorado this July. One of these will be an essentially stock version of the 2012 Mitsubishi i with a more aerodynamic front bumper, roll cage, and safety equipment, which will be driven by SCORE International off-road series race-winning driver Beccy Gordon.
The second entry will be the advanced race-spec i-MiEV Evolution shown that has little physical resemblance to the production Mitsubishi i but uses the same motor, battery, and other major components as the production version, integrated in a tube-frame chassis. It will be piloted by two-time Paris-Dakar Rally champion Hiroshi Masuoka.
The prototype racer incorporates an enhanced Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) electric motor, lithium-ion battery pack, and braking system. A single motor drives the front wheels with two motors powering the rear, providing sure-footed four-wheel-drive for the Pikes Peak race. All this is wrapped in a wild-looking carbon-fiber bodyshell we wish could make it to the showroom, at least in some iteration.
Engineers and researchers from Mitsubishi and its component and systems suppliers will be on hand to record and analyze data from both cars. This underscores the growing role that racing will have in the development and refinement of electric vehicles, just as it has for internal combustion cars over the past century.