Mitsubishi is returning to this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with an improved iteration of its MiEV electric race car . After coming second and third in the Electric Modified class last year, Mitsubishi will be looking to cross the finish line in first position with an aerodynamically optimized and more powerful vehicle.
Specifically developed for the grueling Pikes Peak course, The MiEV Evolution III benefits from a redesigned tube-frame chassis and reshaped bodywork, the latter modeled after extensive wind tunnel testing. The resulting single-seater is lighter that its predecessor and provides more downforce thanks to its huge front spoiler and massive rear wing.
Fitted with electric motors at all corners, the Evolution III is also a lot more powerful than last year’s model, as the units now deliver a total output of 611 horsepower (450 kW). That’s a 68-horsepower increase over the Evolution II, which had 543 electrified ponies (400 kW) on tap. Enabling the vehicle to handle all that additional power is Mitsubishi’s redesigned Super All-Wheel Crontrol (S-AWC) system, one that returns better handling and improved traction control.
Driving duties for the 2014 Pikes Peak were handled to Hirochi Masuoka and Greg Tracy, the same aces that took both MiEV Evo IIs to podium finishes last year. While Tracy is a six-time Pikes Peak motorcycle champion, Masuoka has yet to experience success in the Rocky Mountains. However, the Japanese has two Dakar Rally overall wins to his name.
The 92nd running of the "Race to the Clouds" is set to begin on June 29 near Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III.
As of 6/3/2014, the Electric class for the 2014 Pikes Peak consists only of seven competitors. The Electric Production class will be a two-way battle between Honda and Toyota , while the two MiEVs fielded by Mitsubishi will face competition from a Monster Sport E-Runner, a Summit HER-02 and modified Tesla Roadster 360. Driven by Roy Richards, the Fit EV is part of Honda’s extensive 2014 Pikes Peak effort, one that also includes a B-Spec class Fit, a first-generation Acura NSX , a CBR600RR motorcycle and a TRX450 ATV.
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) will compete in the Electric Modified Division of the prestigious 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) with a pair of technologically-advanced MiEV Evolution III 100% electric-powered purpose-built racecars in the 92nd running of the "Race to the Clouds" on June 29th near Colorado Springs, Colorado.
First run in 1916, the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a treacherous 12.42-mile/156 corner road course through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado commencing at an elevation of 9,390 feet and finishing at 14,110 feet – nearly 3 miles above sea level. The Pikes Peak race is the second oldest motorsports event in the United States after the Indianapolis 500.
"Pikes Peak is an excellent laboratory for testing our advanced MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) technology," states Don Swearingen, executive vice president Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA), "it not only features high elevations but also a range of weather conditions to challenge the performance and reliability of our technology."
Last year’s talented driving duo of Hiroshi Masuoka and Greg Tracy will return for this year’s Mitsubishi Motors EV race team effort at winning the Electric Modified Division.
Finishing in second place in the EV Division at Pikes Peak last year, Masuoka is a former two-time Dakar Rally overall champion while Tracy – last year’s third place EV Division finisher – is a six-time Pikes Peak motorcycle champion.
Building upon the innovative four electric motor drivetrain (two front/two rear) based on a modified high-output version of the production Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicle motor and Mitsubishi Motors’ highly acclaimed advanced Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive technology, numerous key improvements have been made to this year’s MiEV Evolution III entries. These changes include:
A significant power increase from the electric motors to 450 kW (603 bhp), up from last year’s 400 kW (536 bhp)
A redesigned tube-frame chassis with new structural materials for reduced weight
A completely redesigned and wind tunnel-optimized front bodywork/spoiler for more downforce
A redesign of the Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system for improved handling and traction control performance