Mitsubishi released details today on its Pikes Peak hill climb entry, the i-MiEV Evolution. Under its extra-wide, carbon fiber body work lies many of the same drivetrain components as the regular Mitsubishi i, but the big difference with this car is it features a three-motor, all-wheel-drive setup with a combined output of 322 hp. Mitsubishi will run the car in the newly formed electric class, where it will challenge defending champ Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima and his EV Challenge racer.
Barely resembling the production version of the i, the i-MiEV Evolution is comprised of a tube-frame chassis covered by a carbon fiber cowl. Mitsubishi says the widened body has been aerodynamically optimized with a focus on reducing weight. A single electric motor powers the front wheels, while two motors drive the rear wheels. Because having more motors requires more power, the purpose-built racer gets a 35-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, compared to the production i’s 16-kWh unit.
In addition to the radical i-MiEV Evolution, Mitsubishi also plans to race a slightly modified version of the standard i up the hill. This car receives a new front bumper for improved aerodynamics along with roll bars and other required safety equipment, but is otherwise close in specification to the production version. The car gets the same battery pack and 66-hp electric motor as its road-going counterpart, and the combo still powers the rear wheels exclusively. Driving the racing-spec i will be Beccy Gordon, an accomplished driver in the Score off-road racing series. The i-MiEV Evolution will be piloted by Hiroshi Masuoka, who won the Dakar rally consecutively in 2002 and 2003.