Monday, November 8, 2010

Bigger is Better: Mitsubishi's US-Spec Wide-Bodied i-MiEV Revealed Ahead of LA Show

These are the first official photos of the North American version of Mitsubishi's i-MiEV all-electric city, which will have its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show, to be held from Wednesday, November 17 to Sunday November 28.

Even though big ideas can come in small packages, for most things in America, consumers believe that "bigger is better" and "better is bigger". And seeing what happened with Mercedes-Benz and its Smart Fortwo mini, Mitsubishi decided to "fatten-up" the North American version of the i-MiEV, and make it bigger than its Japanese- and European-spec counterparts.

"[The i-MiEV] features an enhanced, enlarged body structure to secure plenty of space for four adults and better meet the expectations of U.S. consumers," said Mitsubishi in a statement.

With this and that, the wider and longer US-Spec i-MiEV measures 3,680 mm / 144.9" (+258mm or +9.8") in length, 1,585 mm / 62.4" (+110mm or +4.3") in width, 1,615 mm / 63.6" (+5mm or +0.2") in height.

In addition to the larger frame, the North American-spec i-MiEV gets a new set of front and rear bumpers as well as some interior changes.

Mitsubishi has not yet released details on the U.S. model's electric-drivetrain. The smaller JDM version of the plug-in EV is powered by an electric motor with 64HP (47kW) and 180Nm (132.8-lbs/ft) of maximum torque, driving the rear wheels. A full charge of the lithium-ion batteries is said to offer a driving range of up to 100 miles or 160 km.