Pikes Peak is fast becoming the go-to place for electric vehicle competition. Major automakers, privateers, and EV conversion shops alike are bringing a variety of electric vehicles to the Race to the Clouds. Mitsubishi has announced that it will be entering a race-prepped version of their i-MiEV electric car, which looks infinitely cooler than the car they actually sell.
Now I understand why Mitsubishi isn’t pushing a one-seat all-electric racers on consumers…but the appearence is so much more appealing than the egg-shaped EV they’re actually trying to sell. According to Mitsubishi, the race car, dubbed the i-MiEV Evolution, uses the same drivetrain and battery pack as the stock passenger car.
From the looks of it though, beneath the body is the all-wheel drive system of Mitsubishi’s own Lancer Evolution with a tube-frame chassis. It’s a race car, make no mistake about it...I just wish Mitsubishi had thought to make the actual EV a little more aesthetically pleasing in the same vein as the race car. The race car version looks fast and fun, a far cry from the delicate egg you can actually buy. The i-MiEV Evolution will probably haul ass up Pikes Peak, and joining it this year will be Monster Tajima in his own custom EV racer, as well as EV West’s specially-converted BMW M3 EV among many other alt-fuel competitors.
There was an old adage in the early days of NASCAR; race on Sunday, sell on Monday. That was because consumers could actually go to the dealership on Monday morning and buy the car that won Sunday’s race, minus some of the hardcore racing equipment. That said, something is better than nothing, and I’d be especially interested in seeing how the i-MiEV Evolution competes against Nissan’s NISMO Leaf race car. Nissan competed in last year’s Pikes Peak with a stock Leaf, setting a new record for production EV’s. They will not compete this year.
Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long before these two companies pit the race-car versions of their EV’s against each other. Should be interesting, to say the least. Who do you think would win in a straight-up EV race, Mitsubishi or Nissan?