Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution Pikes Peak racerEnlarge Photo
We've already brought you news of Mitsubishi's two challengers for this year's Pikes Peak hillclimb, but now the Japanese firm has revealed its purpose-built prototype, set to take to the stage on July 8.
While a largely stock Mitsubishi i will be driven up the hill by Beccy Gordon, racing-driver sister of Bobby Gordon, the single-seat i-MiEV Evolution will rocket up the hill at the hands of offroad veteran Hiroshi Matsuoka.
And with 320 horsepower from its single front and twin rear-mounted electric motors, it really will rocket--albeit more silently than most competitors who tackle the hill.
The i-MiEV Evolution bears little resemblance to the road vehicle on which it's supposedly based. From the window-line and up it's similar in profile, but appears narrower at the front. That illusion is then shattered when you see everything below the windows, as the Evolution is two feet longer, a foot wider and a foot lower than the jelly bean-like road car.
Those three electric motors are surrounded by a custom-built tube-frame chassis, which also supports a 35 kWh battery pack - more than twice the size of the 2012 Mitsubishi i's 16 kWh pack. That's no doubt necessary to ensure the Evolution makes it all the way to the top of the hill without running out of juice.
It's not the only speedy electric car set to face the hill this year either. Pikes Peak legend "Monster" Tajima is gunning for the overall record in an all-electric prototype, and EV West is fielding a converted BMW M3 coupe, with over 400 horsepower.
One thing is for sure--whether stock, converted or purpose-built, electric cars will be the stars at this year's Pikes Peak event.