By Gary Thomas
Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA), a manufacturer and seller of sedans, sport utility vehicles, coupes and battery-powered electric vehicles, has announced that its 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) electric vehicle racing team finished at second place in the event.
MMNA placed 2nd in the Electric Vehicle Division (8th overall) in the 2012 PPIHC event with the i-MiEV Evolution driven by Hiroshi Masuoka, and achieved an impressive debut in a production 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV driven by Beccy Gordon. (PRNewsFoto/Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.)
This year, 170 vehicles took part in the race, which is a 156 corner, 12.42 mi long mountainside race. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution is a racing prototype designed particularly for the Pikes Peak race course due to its challenging nature. In the race, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution delivered a 10 minute 30.850 second lap time. This achievement enabled the car to record an 8th place overall among the 170 vehicles.
The car features a tube-frame chassis, sculpted carbon-fiber bodywork, a tri-motor configuration and advanced All-Wheel Control all-wheel drive. It utilizes the MCU, lithium-ion batteries and the electric motors in the 100% electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV production car.
Hiroshi Masuoka, a two-time Dakar Rally winner and Mitsubishi factory test driver, drove the car. He went off course during the first day of the practice sessions and caused heavy damage, which the team worked challengingly to repair. The car was back in the race on the second day and finished second in the electric division.
Beccy Gordon, a professional SCORE International off-road racer, had driven a production 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV and achieved a timing of 15 min, 10.557 s while finishing the race in the 6th position. The car demonstrated significant torque and was good to handle due to low placement of the lithium-ion batteries and the electric motor. Gordon stated that all-electric cars demonstrated good possibility of succeeding in motorsports.