Mitsubishi unveiled two new iMiEV electric concepts at Geneva; a prototype of the production iMiEV for Europe, and the sleek iMiEV Sport Air.
As part of Mitsubishi's ongoing effort to ensure that the future is sporty as well as being environmentally friendly, the iMiEV Sport Air could be an enthusiast's take on a gasoline-free future. Built on the iMiEV's rear-midship EV platform, the Sport Air is a sleek two-seater that bears a passing resemblance to a squashed Volkswagen Beetle. The clear roof panel is detachable, so drivers can enjoy fresh air, and also lowers the center of gravity. The battery and other components have also been mounted lower in the chassis, and plastic body panels are used to reduce the Sport Air's curb weight. Naturally, it's also making more power: a more powerful synchronous permanent magnet electric motor is installed, giving the Sport Air 60 horsepower. This is a thirteen-horse boost over the iMiEV.
The iMiEV has undergone a few changes, and the most recent prototype shown indicates that Mitsubishi is on target to have the car in production. The latest iMiEV on the stand is close to the vehicle that will debut in the European market in 2010. Changes from the Japanese model going on sale this summer include widened front and rear tracks and increased overhangs at the front and rear, to help bring the car into compliance with European pedestrian-protection regulations. The styling tweaks give the iMiEV prototype a cheeky, cartoonish face. The fully electric iMiEV's motor and battery are mounted in a midship position that offers reasonable stability and maximizes interior space.
Both cars will be on display at the Geneva Motor Show through March 15.