This is no ordinary Mitsubishi 'i' electric car.

The bodywork is a bit of a giveaway really - adding another third to the length of Mitsubishi's jellybean-like electric car and making it look twice as wide suggests that this electric car isn't really designed for popping to the mall and back.

Instead, the i-MiEV Prototype has been entered into the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

The car will be driven by Dakar Rally legend Hiroshi Masuoka, who previously scored Dakar victories in Mitsubishi's Pajero and Pajero Evolution models.

Despite first impressions, the i-MiEV prototype really is based on the road-going 'i', at least in terms of its drivetrain. It uses the same drivetrain components as the road car, though we suspect there's some tuning involved.

Mitsubishi hopes to use the event to enhance the durability and reliability of its production electric cars as the range expands. Engineers from Mitsubishi and its EV partners will be attending the event to work towards improving Mitsubishi's future electric car technology.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Prototype for 2012 Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Prototype for 2012 Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb

It's not the first pumped-up electric car we've seen, of course. Last year, Nissan's tuning arm NISMO promoted the Leaf RC Concept, a hunkered-down, GT car take on the Leaf. Meanwhile, a production Leaf tackled Pikes Peak course that Mitsubishi is attempting this year.

This isn't the record that Mitsubishi has to beat however - instead, it's likely to be gunning for the 12 minute, 20-second run set by the Yokohama-sponsored AC Propulsion team.


Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.