Racing EV’s 114km/h mountain climb

In its first drive in Colorado’s legendary 20-kilometre Pikes Peak international hill climb, Mitsubishi’s prototype all-electric i-MiEV Evolution race car climbed 1,400 m through the 156 mountainside corners at an average 114 km/h to finish eighth of 170 entries, and second in the EV class.

In the hands of two-time Dakar Rally champion Hiroshi Masuoka the car reached the

4,300 m summit - higher than Aoraki/Mount Cook - in 10 m 31 s, within 45 seconds of the all-time race record.

The i-MiEV Evolution racing prototype was purpose-built for Pikes Peak. The tube-framed, carbon-fibre-cowled 4WD uses the same major components as the production car but has three electric motors, one driving the front wheels and two more driving the rear. Together they develop 240kW of power - more than the Lancer Evolution X.

A near-standard production i-MiEV, the only street-legal EV in the race, finished the daunting climb with an average speed a fraction under 80 km/h. Its driver, professional-road racer Beccy Gordon, said: “It’s awesome! It produced a lot more power - especially torque - than I‘d expected. The handling was very good because the electric motor and lithium-ion batteries sit so low in the chassis. The car is really peppy”.