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Mitsubishi updates its MiEV electric racer for this year's Pikes Peak Hill Climb


June 3, 2014

The MiEV Evolution III gets more power, improved aerodynamics and other upgrades

The MiEV Evolution III gets more power, improved aerodynamics and other upgrades

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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.

Source: Mitsubishi

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

I love race cars & racing the same as anybody else, but I've come to recognize that the sport glorifies & encourages risky and aggressive driving behaviors leading to innumerable deaths around the globe. For what? My hope with electric cars & autonomous driving systems is that robot cars can complete such courses faster than any human possibly could, and we all sit back and think collectively, "what's the point for this insane rush everybody's in all the time?" and hopefully car racing diminishes in interest; and road rage and casual speeding become recognized as the senseless, useless hazards that they actually are.


The real significance of this is that electric cars are coming. Smart manufacturers are establishing their presence in the market with highly-visible efforts such as this.

The others had best get on board because that plane is ready to leave the terminal. Invfact, Tesla is already airborne.

James Smith

I think that is really neat looking. Being an electric race car makes it cool and green.

I think electric race cars will promote electric vehicles in general.


This coal burner will likely travel very quickly up the mountain if they can get the power from the 450 kW motor hooked up to the ground. Good thing this is a hill climb because the vehicle will likely expend all it's battery power on the way up and it can then coast back down. Let's hope somebody remembers to plug it in over night before the event. At least this thing does not have a heater, AC, entertainment system, Sat Nav and other goodies to drain power.

The BBC tested two conventional all electric cars. The presenters were impressed with them but three days were needed to travel 240 miles.


Teewee, care to back up your points as they are not true.

Fact is a gas car gasoline using more coal in making the gasoline if what you said was true.

Coal has dropped from 60% to 37% of US electricity and dropping fast. You'll also find most EV owners are smart enough to make their own power by solar or buying clean power because not only cleaner, but cheaper now.

Read this to see how times have changed.

Barclays Downgrades Electric Utility Bonds, Sees Viable Solar ... blogs.barrons.com/incomeinvesting/2014/05/23/barclays... Cached Barclays this week downgrades the entire electric sector of the U.S. high-grade corporate bond market to underweight, saying it sees long-term challenges ...


It is amazing how well electric cars do when they only have to go 12.5 miles.


"I love race cars & racing the same as anybody else, but I've come to recognize that the sport glorifies & encourages risky and aggressive driving behaviors leading to innumerable deaths around the globe."

No, you don't feel like I do.

At Bonneville, no one has ever died over 500mph.

Risk is inevitable but that is part of the challenge.

The glamorizations of wrong attitudes is a problem with humans and their culture- it is just more obvious in pop-culture racing.

Should all guns be banned just because some people are out of order?

Some would say yes- I say NO.

True motorsports are NOT a game.... and you can keep your drones&computers.


@TeeWee The argument that people shouldn't use electric vehicles because the grid still uses coal power is ignorant for a couple reasons, here is why:

The total cost of energy to "fuel" an electric car is much cheaper than an equivalent gasoline powered automobile. The energy cost of a Tesla is about 3 cents per mile (source http://teslarumors.com/USA-Residental-Energy-Cost-2011-by-State.html ) vs gasoline at around 16 cents per mile for a car that gets 22 mpg. That's more than 5 times the cost of electricity.

Currently about ~40% of grid power is from coal but that's because coal is slightly cheaper than green energy sources but not drastically so. The levelized cost of coal is about on par with wind energy and by 2019 is projected to be about half the cost of solar. That means even if you burned 0 coal to fuel electric cars the cost to power then would still be somewhere between 3 and 6 cents per gallon which is still much cheaper than gasoline. Many states already mandate that utility companies offer customers a "green" option for their electricity sources.

Many companies (and homes) are already turning to solar power before waiting for the grid to do it.

Coal plants can be run in controlled environments and produce energy more cleanly than ICE automobiles.

Just because we still use coal for some grid power today doesn't mean we don't need electric cars. By some projections green energy may be cheaper to produce than coal by 2020 even without government CO2 penalties on coal power and with the government "war on coal" it's likely to start being phased out significantly before then (probably on a least efficient plant first basis).

See Swanson's law and look at this chart (http://i.imgur.com/H9PBlMZ.png) and you should get an idea that solar costs are already on a collision course with coal. If you bought an electric car today that car is already going to outlive most of the existing coal plants remaining in the US.


Racing is typically the laboratory in which technological advancements are tested before being distilled to the masses. I was beginning to worry about Mitsubishi, as they no longer make cars that appeal to anyone with a pulse. This is a glimmer of hope.

Michael Wilson

Grunchy: Where do you think most of the ICE improvements came from? Not to mention tires and all the other moving parts? Thanks to all the racing enthusiasts who paid because they enjoyed the sport. Isn't capitalism grand?

Don Duncan
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