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Triple-motor Mitsubishi EV headed for Pikes Peak

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  August 7, 2012 06:16 PM

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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.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
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Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
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