Mitsubishi’s Sporty Electric Concept unveiled at Australian International Motor Show

Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV Sport concept car has made its much anticipated Australian debut at the 2010 Australian International Motor Show, providing a glimpse of the future direction of Mitsubishi’s electric car line up. The i-MiEV Sport embodies Mitsubishi Motor’s (MMC’s) environmental technology while maximising the sporty possibilities of the zero-emissions electric vehicle.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited’s (MMAL’s) president and chief executive officer, Masahiko Takahashi, unveiled the i-MiEV Sport at the Sydney show.

“The focus for our display here at the show is on innovation and technology, and the i-MiEV Sport shows that, at Mitsubishi, electric vehicles have taken the next step forward. They have the performance possibilities to make them a whole lot of fun,” Takahashi said.

Based on the i-MiEV electric vehicle released in Australia in August, the i-MiEV Sport adopts technologies developed by MMC to achieve high manoeuvrability and high levels of both environmental and running performance. The lithium-ion battery-powered, all-wheel drive coupe utilises in-wheel motors at the front and a third motor driving the rear wheels, all controlled by the S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) vehicle dynamics system. It promises genuine sporting capabilities via 680Nm of torque with a body weight of just 970 kilograms, packaged in a light rigid aluminium space frame.

The range of the coupe is 200 kilometres on a single charge, augmented by photovoltaic solar cells mounted in the roof and a power generating fan mounted in the front grille. Additional power comes from bright power-saving LED lighting, regenerative braking functions, heat-absorbing window glass and Mitsubishi’s unique plant-based Green Plastic resin technology.

With its fastback exterior, the i-MiEV Sport concept is a diminutive coupe with a distinctive design. The fluid styling of the light green exterior marks an association with nature. The pearlescent paint, which shines when directly illuminated, hints at the concept’s futuristic technology and environmental credentials. A simplified, yet sporty and dynamic interior is achieved by substantial use of mesh materials and various natural elements, and fosters the feeling of security and comfort.

Using the same rear-midship layout design as the i-MiEV, the Sport uses its long wheelbase to maximise interior space and retain a low centre of gravity by housing its high-capacity lithium-ion battery under the floor and the motor, inverter and charger beneath the luggage compartment.

The aluminium space frame – a combination of aluminium extrusion die-casting – helps improve performance by minimising weight. The optimum layout of structural members, including front-side and cross-members, efficiently absorbs crash energy in the event of front-end or side collision. In a collision from the rear, EV components under the back seat and rear floor serve as a barrier to preserve the integrity of the passenger compartment. By making use of the rear-mid-ship layout and utilising Mitsubishi’s RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) body, the i-MiEV Sport concept realises excellent occupant protection in collisions from any direction.

Along with the S-AWC powertrain, the vehicle has an E-4WD system which electronically optimises the output of all motors. In addition, a new E-AYC (Electric Active Yaw Control) system is employed to directly regulate torque at the left and right rear wheels via an electric motor. In addition to the E-4WD and E-AYC, the S-AWC system integrates ABS and ASC (Active Stability Control) systems, thus independently controlling driving force, traction and braking at all four wheels, for total manoeuvrability and maximum stability.

The i-MiEV Sport, along with other electric and hybrid vehicle concepts from Mitsubishi such as the PX-MiEV and i-MiEV Cargo are paving the way for a new era in environmental driving technologies. Mitsubishi’s passion for electric vehicles, green technology and world-class innovation heralds a new future for sustainable driving pleasure.