Mitsubishi’s innovative i MiEV SPORT electric vehicle
By Mike Hanlon
September 7, 2007
September 7, 2007 The Tokyo Motor Show is seven weeks away, but as the home of the all-powerful Japanese industry it is where the most advanced technologies go on display first. Accordingly, Mitsubishi has announced a show car for Tokyo we won’t see in Frankfurt next week. The i MiEV Sport looks like a 21st century Goggomobile but promises genuine sporting capabilities with a whopping 680 Nm of torque pushing a small lightweight electric vehicle. Based on the i MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle), the car features a 20 kW motor inside each front wheel another 47 kW at the rear, plus the company's S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) vehicle dynamics system, all in a lightweight, rigid aluminium space frame with the batteries and inverter tucked underneath for a low centre of gravity and plenty of interior space. Using every last bit of available energy effectively, the car has an auxiliary photovoltaic unit built into the roof, a power-generating fan inside the front grill to harvest the air flow, and regenerative braking.
The S-AWC powertrain employs three permanent magnetic synchronous motors - one in-wheel motor in each front wheel plus a single motor driving the rear wheels. A computer-controlled E-4WD system optimises the output of all motors and an E-AYC (Electric Active Yaw Control) system directly regulates torque to the left and right rear wheels via an electric motor. The system also integrates ABS and ASC (Active Stability Control), thus controlling driving force, traction and braking at all four wheels – in effect, an electric go-kart with highly advanced maneuverability and stability.
The exterior is designed to express the quickness of the car and the aluminium space frame, a combination of extrusions and die casting is optimized to efficiently absorb crash energy in front-end or side collisions. In a collision from the rear, EV components under the back seat and rear floor serve as a barrier to ensure the integrity of the passenger compartment. By making use of the rear-midship layout and Mitsubishi's RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) body, the concept realizes excellent occupant protection in collisions from any direction, even when colliding with a vehicle of different height or weight.
A simplified interior styling uses geometry, metallic materials and blue LED lighting to create a sophisticated, cutting-edge atmosphere. Even the efficiency of the air conditioning is enhanced by the use of heat-absorbing window glass.
The pearlescent light green paint illuminates when hit with direct light, purposefully evoking the vision of an advanced, futuristic vehicle, which it unquestionably is. We can’t wait for this one!!