The strange looking vehicle on the right is a European-spec Mitsubishi i-MiEV, a 63 HP, 75-100 mile-range electric vehicle. The strange looking vehicle on the left is a US-spec Mitsubishi i-MiEV, specially “improved” for the US audience. USA Today puts it best, reporting
The iMiEV for the U.S. will be — surprise, surprise — bigger than the ones it sells in Japan and Europe. That’s because Americans are fatter.
In case you’d forgotten. No word on just how much bigger the i-MiEV needed to become in order to “meet the expectations of U.S. consumers,” but considering the apparent necessity of grafting on a slack-jawed underbite, one hopes the difference is noticeable on the inside. We’ll find out for sure at the LA Auto show, but in the meantime, hit the jump to find out what we hope doesn’t grow as the i-MiEV slips into something a little more American.
Now, we want to make it clear that direct price comparisons between markets are always problematic, but if you add back the £5k government grant and convert the i-MiEV’s price to dollars you get something like $46,000. For the equivalent of 63 horsepower and a sub-100 mile range and, apparently, a tiny interior. Everything sells at a price, but unless the US-spec i-MiEV stickers for considerably less than its European cousins, it’s hard to see this little EV going anywhere. Mitsubishi may regret spending the money to”Americanize” this electric city car.