2013 Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution II electric race carEnlarge Photo
Mitsubishi caused a stir at last year's Pikes Peak hill climb with its electric i-MiEV Evolution race car, and the team is returning this year to challenge for overall honors.
While last year's racer was loosely based on the i-MiEV or 'i' electric road car, the new MiEV Evolution II makes no such concessions--it's an out-and-out sports prototype racer.
Mitsubishi managed to take second place in the electric category last year, after an accident in practice put the team on the back foot for the event itself.
It did provide Mitsubishi with plenty of data though, and this year's vehicle will use that to not just take electric honors, but also challenge for overall first place.
The Evolution II adds uses a four-motor electric drivetrain for all-wheel drive, contrasting with last year's one front motor, twin rear motors format.
Advancements in weight reduction and aerodynamics should also aid the vehicle's progress up the hill. One benefit of the electric drivetrain is that the vehicle never loses power as altitude increases, unlike its combustion-powered rivals.
Unlike last year, where Mitsubishi entered only one car, the team will challenge with two MiEV Evolutions this year.
Dakar Rally veteran Hiroshi Masuoka returns, and is joined by Greg Tracy--six-times Pikes Peak motorcycle champion.
The 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, popularly known as the "race to the clouds", will take place between June 25 to June 30.