Six weeks after Mitsubishi announced it would show the i MiEV Sport show car at Tokyo, at the same time as releasing one image that made it look for all the world like a 21st century Goggomobile, more imagery has surfaced. We’re pretty chuffed about this one because everything we have seen suggests it will be an advanced weapon of the highest calibre.
The i MiEV Sport is a small lightweight electric vehicle based on the i MiEV which has been doing the show rounds for a year, except this time, they’ve turned up the juice, and the diminutive lightweight now has a whopping 680 Nm of torque pushing it around. The car features a 20 kW motor inside each front wheel plus another 47 kW sitting centrally at the rear. Controlling the herbs is a computerised E-4WD system that optimises the output of all motors, working in conjunction with Mitsubishi’s S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) vehicle dynamics system, and an E-AYC (Electric Active Yaw Control) system. We know it all sounds like acrnym soup, but there’s also ABS and ASC (Active Stability Control). The massive advantage of having electric motors inside the wheel instead of an Internal Combustion Engine at the other end of the powertrain is that you can do very clever things with dynamic vehicle control systems and Mitsubishi has been working in this area for some time, so we’re expecting big things in terms of handling and stability and power delivery now that driving force, traction and braking can be controlled so precisely at all four wheels.
On top of all that, the car is built around a lightweight aluminium space frame and the heaviest parts, being the batteries are carried low underneath, availing a low centre of gravity and an interior space much greater than you’d expect for a vehicle of this size.
Someone at Mitsubishi has been really thinking outside the square in getting the most out of the vehicle because the car has several features we haven’t seen before, including an auxiliary photovoltaic unit built into the roof, and a fan inside the front grill that generates electricity from the rush of air flow, both of which put energy back into the battery, just as the vehicle’s regenerative braking also does.
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