Mitsubishi updates its MiEV electric racer for this year's Pikes Peak Hill Climb
By C.C. Weiss
June 3, 2014
Mitsubishi is preparing to return to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this month. It will compete in the Electric Modified Division with a pair of updated MiEV Evolution racers. The all-electric race car is more powerful and capable than ever.
When we looked at the MiEV Evolution two years ago, it was sporting a tri-motor, 322-hp (240-kW) powertrain, which was modified to four motors and 536 hp (400 kW) last year. This year, the MiEV Evolution continues to evolve, packing 603 hp (450 kW) of power potential in its motor four-pack. Each motor is a high-output version of the electric power plant in the production i-MiEV.
The structure around the powertrain has also been improved, starting with a lighter tube-frame chassis with new materials. The front-end has been aero-optimized with a redesigned spoiler and carbon cowl. The race car's Super All-Wheel Control AWD system has been reworked for better handling and traction control, and the tires increased in size to 330/680-18.
Mitsubishi racing duo Hiroshi Masuoka and Greg Tracy drove MiEV Evolution II race cars to respective second and third place EV Division finishes at the 2013 Pikes Peak event. The duo will return this year with its sights on first place. That won't be an easy feat, because last year's EV winner and Pikes Peak legend Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima will be returning to defend his title.
"MiEV Evolution III is an improved version of last year's machine and brings significantly better cornering performance after improvements to the motors, aerodynamics and tires," Masuoka explains. "That the driver can feel confident about extracting every ounce of the increased performance is thanks to evolutionary development of the S-AWC system. This has resulted in a quantum leap in vehicle stability on winding roads, and I am confident that MiEV Evolution III will demonstrate the full extent of its potential over a course such as Pikes Peak with its 156 corners."
This year's Pikes Peak Race Week starts on June 23 and Race Day will take place on the 29th.