Mitsubishi I-MiEV: Plus-Sized For America

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
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mitsubishi i miev plus sized for america

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.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Tricky Dicky Tricky Dicky on Nov 10, 2010

    Come on you saggy-arsed chubsters! Eat a bit less red meat, try a few more veggies, stop eating portions meant for two people, have a gap in between meals and snacks that would allow the minute-hand to do a few laps of your wrist, and try getting your heart rate up a bit with some healthy exercise. Do your bit for global warming AND your own well-being :-D And yes, this is a skinny-butt European Troll (but still good advice all the same).

  • BklynPete BklynPete on Nov 11, 2010

    No way this thing flies in the US market. No way. As someone who worked for Mitsubishi, I wonder why they keep bothering and struggling so dutifully in the U.S. Their real forte has always been innovation in engine/powertrain technology. The EV powertrain is a perfect example of something that can be scaled by a manufacturer with better production/marketing. Why not become the modern equivalent of Lycoming or Continental, and sell this stuff to the companies without the werewithal or lack of corporate red tape to do it themselves?

  • Lou_BC Full sized sort of autonomous RC's. Cute.
  • Art_Vandelay Autonomous capabilities are being deployed (or planned anyway) in multiple combat vehicles. Should be fun from my perspective
  • Drew8MR Interior is trivial now you can get repro everything in various levels of quality. Getting the top sorted will be a couple grand, but I'd drive it as it. I drove a $1500 67 GTO convertible for 20 years, not every old car needs to be like new.
  • John Not everyone pays that much for power. Mine is 10 cents per kw…..
  • TheEndlessEnigma I didn't need another reason to stay away from NYC, and yet I was handed another reason.