We've been waiting eagerly for more details of the modified U.S.-spec 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car. Now, Mitsubishi has started the long tease.

The company tweeted a sketch this morning that shows a wider, slightly more angular i-MiEV that still preserves the now-familiar shape of the right-hand-drive original.

Mitsubishi has to make a number of changes to the diminutive electric kei car to get it past new, tighter NHTSA crash safety rules. The widening is thought to be due in part to structural reinforcements--with the added benefit that it will better accommodate larger, heavier, wider U.S. bodies.

The production version of the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV for North America will be unveiled in three weeks at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.