They say racing improves the breed (i.e. Honda and Chevrolet in IndyCar and Ford, Chevy, Dodge, and Toyota in NASCAR, etc.), and Mitsubishi is hoping that holds true for electric cars as well. Mitsubishi is entering two electric vehicles into the Electric Class of Pikes Peak Hill Climb. While it won’t be as prominent a stage as the Indianapolis 500 or Daytona 500, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb is no slouch. Nicknamed “The Race to the Clouds,” the Pikes Peak Hill Climb spans nearly 12.5 miles while climbing 4,721 feet and maneuvering through more than 156 turns. The race will take place at the aforesaid mountain in Colorado from July 3-8.
Mitsubishi will be entering the i-MiEV Evolution and the production version of the i-MiEV into the Electric Class and face the likes of BMW and Toyota. Both i-MiEV vehicles will be specially prepped for racing with some help from a few extra parts. The i-MiEV Evolution will use the same motor, drive battery, and some other components used in the production version, but it will also benefit from a racing body crafted for this event in order to shed some weight. A tube-frame chassis will be employed along with a carbon fiber hood to further weight reduction along with some other features that will make the vehicle more aerodynamic. A single motor will be responsible for driving the front of the i-MiEV Evolution while two separate motors will deliver power to the rear wheels. With the help from all of the separate motors, the i-MiEV Evolution is rated at 322 horsepower, which should be more than enough power to get the EV up the course. The i-MiEV Evolution will employ all-wheel drive to increase performance and handling.
We’d also like to take a second and point out the new mascot for the i-MiEV Evolution. A blown-up and slightly pixelated version is included in the gallery below. We’re taking guesses as to what the little guy is suppose to do, does he strike fear into the hearts of the competition or is he a helpful reminder that EVs can be helpful to the environment even in racing form? Something different? We’re not really sure what to think but we do know one thing; it sure is silly.
As for the production version i-MiEV, it will enter competition with roll bars, extra safety equipment and a modified front-bumper to boost aerodynamics. Unlike the i-MiEV Evolution with its all-wheel drive system, the production i-MiEV uses rear-wheel drive to move along and will do so to propel itself up the course. The production i-MiEV churns out 66 horsepower or 49Kw and 145 lb-ft of torque, something that its 2,579 pound frame will need to get up the demanding course.
What do you think about Mitsubishi entering electric vehicles into Pikes Peak Hill Climb? Can any good come of it? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.