Mitsubishi Motors is ambitiously targetting overall first place in next month’s edition of the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, after placing second in the electric vehicle class in its first-ever attempt last year.
Two-time Dakar Rally champion Hiroshi Masuoka and six-time Pikes Peak motorcycle champion Greg Tracy will each drive an all-electric 4WD MiEV Evolution II prototype. The new racecar takes advantage of a rich harvest of technical knowhow gained from the 2012 event, with driving dynamics now boosted by integrating Mitsubishi’s S-AWC (Super All-Wheel Control) system with a new 400kW four-motor drivetrain.
The MiEV Evolution II combines standard production EV parts with a specially designed 50 kWh high-capacity underfloor battery and two-front/two-rear electric motors, all built into a lightweight pipe-frame chassis, carbon-cowled for improved aerodynamics.
Mitsubishi’s AYC (Active Yaw Control) gives the racecar high cornering capability and ASC (Active Stability Control) improves stability by automatically controlling brake force to one or more wheels.
Hiroshi Masuoka began his Dakar Rally campaign in 1987 and became the first Japanese driver to post consecutive overall victories when he won in 2002 and 2003. Today he works with Mitsubishi Motors on vehicle development, training company test drivers and running test drive sessions in Japan and overseas. Greg Tracy brings a wealth of racing experience not only in motorcycles but four-wheeled vehicles too, and knows the Pikes Peak course inside out.
The historic “Race to the Clouds” (this year held 25-30 June) climbs almost 1,500 metres to the 4,300 metre summit of Pikes Peak mountain. First run in 1916, the hill climb this year celebrates its 91st anniversary, making it the USA’s second oldest motor race after the Indianapolis 500. Atmospheric pressure, temperature, weather and other conditions vary significantly between start and finish, requiring optimum tuning to ensure maximum performance all the way up.