Mitsubishi will race a prototype electric car with no less than three motors at this Sunday's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the most tire-smoking, altitude-sickening rally stage in the world.
The i-MiEV Evolution, a winged, bare-bones race car with a tube-frame chassis and carbon fiber body, uses three electric motors from the production i-MiEV, a tiny electric hatchback. That means there's a maximum of 198 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque, all zapping through a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. In other words, it's going to be quick.
The hill climb, now in its 90th season, runs along a 12.4-mile stretch of Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado Springs, where the altitude starts at 9,400 feet and climbs to more than 14,000. It's a dangerous and incredibly savage way to race fast machines, and perfect for electric cars since they won't need a recharge (and the thin air won't sap any power, as it does on normal gas-powered cars). This year's race was postponed one month due to wildfires.
Toyota will run a prototype electric racer, as will defending champ Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima in a Batmobille-like EV. Mitsubishi is also entering an i-MiEV, shown above, for the production EV class. Nissan, which raced against itself last year with a production Leaf, will likely enter again.
If you've never heard of the i-MiEV, it's not your fault. Mitsubishi has only sold 446 cars nationwide since November, just 33 in July, and began offering them in Massachusetts in June.
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