CYPRESS, Calif., — Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. saw its 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb electric vehicle racing team achieve an impressive debut on the difficult 12.42 mile long, 156 corner mountainside race course by recording a second-place finish in the Electric Vehicle class with its Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution with a lap time of 10 minutes, 30.850 seconds. Additionally, the lap time was good enough to finish in 8th place overall from the 170 vehicles entered (132 vehicles recording a lap time/crossing the finish line) in this year’s Pikes Peak event.
Driven by Mitsubishi factory test driver and two-time Dakar Rally winner Hiroshi Masuoka, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution is a racing prototype that was designed specifically for the very challenging Pikes Peak race course. Featuring radically sculpted carbon-fiber bodywork, a tube-frame chassis, an advanced form of Mitsubishi All-Wheel Control all-wheel drive and a unique tri-motor configuration, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution makes use of numerous key components sourced directly from the 100% electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV production car including the electric motor(s), lithium-ion batteries and MCU.
The team was challenged early on in the event when the i-MiEV Evolution race car received extensive front end damage in the first practice session when driver and Team Principal Hiroshi Masuoka slightly misjudged his braking point for one of the numerous tight hairpin turns and went off course. The team worked hard to repair the damage to both the bodywork and the steering rack, resulting in no further track time for Pikes Peak rookie Masuoka in the practice sessions held on days 2 and 3.
“Although we missed out on capturing the top spot by finishing 2nd in the Electric Division, I’m satisfied that we were able to compete in the challenging driving conditions of this Pikes Peak course using motors and batteries from the production i-MiEV,” said Masuoka.
With a starting net value of $21,625* for the well-equipped entry-level ES model (the premium-grade SE version begins at $23,625*), the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is not only the most affordably-priced mass-market electric vehicle available in the United States but is also the first of several new advanced, alternative-fuel production vehicles that the Japanese auto manufacturer plans on bringing to the North American market in the next few years.
For more information on the racing team and the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, visit media.mitsubishicars.com.