If racing improves the breed, then the next generation of Mitsubishi's electric cars could be a significant step up from the humble Mitsubishi 'i' sold today.

The 'i' itself is the focus of Mitsubishi's efforts at this year's Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, where a production-spec car and a powerful, highly-modified, prototype-spec monster are both tackling the famous hill.

The purpose-built i-MiEV Evolution is being put through its paces in practice by offroad racing veteran Hiroshi Matsuoka, though as the image above suggests, the practice runs haven't all been plain sailing.

The i-MiEV Facebook page reports that after recording a first run of 4m 37s, Matsuoka entered a turn too quickly on his next run and dived off the road.

Matsuoka avoided any significant injuries but the car needed repairs, and in a day 2 report the team expects the car to be ready for the finals on Sunday 12 August.

Meanwhile, production 'i' driver Beccy Gordon has been enjoying trouble-free runs up the hill, and as each driver must do three practice runs, Matsuoka has also done a run in the production car to ensure he remains eligible to drive the prototype on Sunday.

The teams will complete another practice run on Saturday, where they tackle the top section of the hill, before a full timed run on Sunday in the finals.


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