Created at the Mitsubishi Motors design center in Cypress, Calif., the Concept-CT MIEV showcases a forward-thinking study in small car packaging. MIEV stands for Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electronic Vehicle.
The next-generation series/parallel hybrid system uses a special transmission to harness the 67 horsepower output of a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine. A 54 horsepower generator charges high-energy-density, lithium-ion batteries. Total combined peak force is 134 horsepower. Each of the Concept-CT’s 20-inch wheels house an electric motor, effectively providing computer-controlled all-wheel drive that can transfer optimal traction independently to each tire as needed. A flat floor and "floating" seats for four provide a spacious feeling and interior flexibility. The rear doors open butterfly-style without a center pillar to provide maximum interior access.
The MIEV system provides both economical cruising capability and high capacity power for short bursts of acceleration when needed. A regenerative brake system captures energy that would otherwise be lost as heat through the brake discs and channels it to the batteries.
Each of the Concept-CT’s wheels houses an electric motor, effectively providing computer-controlled all-wheel drive (AWD) that can transfer optimal traction independently to each tire as needed. Such individual wheel control opens up new possibilities to enhance vehicle stability and performance.
Adventurous Yet Practical Interior
The Concept-CT interior design is as adventurous as the exterior, starting with structural elements that also serve as design elements. The main controls take inspiration from motorcycle front forks and controls and are supported by a structure fashioned in parallel strips. For a clean, modern image, the interior features pearl finish, ribbed vinyl and soft-touch surfaces with copper accents.
The Concept-CT instrument panel is unlike anything seen in current vehicles. A wide format “wall to wall” screen displays information for navigation, rear/side-view mirror functions, and entertainment functions (when in park). Flat-screen gauges are placed well forward of the driver for optimal visibility. In addition, a flat screen in the center panel displays climate control and audio information. Reflecting Concept-CT’s futuristic theme, the ultra-thin center console houses a fingerprint-reading security key and computer touch pad interface.
A flat floor and “floating” seats for four provide an open feeling and interior flexibility. The contoured bench-style seats are designed for superior support while providing ease of entry and egress. The front passenger seatback and rear seatbacks fold flat to carry long loads. Rear seat cushions fold up with the seatback in the upright position to load tall items through the side doors. Concept-CT provides additional storage under the front hood.
This concept provides a vision into the future of advanced hybrid technology in a fun and futuristic design. Mitsubishi Motors’ Lancer Evolution MIEV is currently under testing in Japan – with a goal to bring a MIEV model, built around core technologies of in-wheel motors and high density lithium-ion batteries, to market by 2010.