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Mitsubishi EV development charges on in ‘Race to the Clouds’


Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s (MMC) MiEV Evolution III has narrowed the performance gap between electric and combustion-engined vehicles, coming second and third overall in this year’s running of the iconic Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb.

The hill climb is a 20km ‘Race to the Clouds’ in Colorado, USA, which climbs nearly 3,000m through 156 turns to finish 4,300m above sea level.

American driver Greg Tracy posted a record-breaking time of 9 mins 08 secs in the Electric Modified division to ensure the MiEV Evolution III not only became the fastest-ever EV in the event’s history but came closer than ever to wresting the title of ‘King of the Mountain’ from the dominant grip of petrol-engined vehicles.

Tracy was a little over two seconds behind overall winner Romain Dumas of France, who drove a 2.0L turbocharged Norma M20 ‘RD Limited’ in the Unlimited class.

Hiroshi Masuoka, driving another MiEV Evolution III, rounded out the overall podium, finishing third overall and second in the Electric Modified division with a time of 9 mins 12 secs.

“I’m really proud to be able to deliver the victory in the Electric Modified division, driving the MiEV Evolution III,” said Mr Tracy. “We spent the past week working on the Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) to give me a little less traction in slow corners [to work the back end]. It felt really strong.

“The road surface today was rather slippery, but the S-AWC eliminated any unnecessary drift and I was able to attack the turns all the way to the top with full confidence. I had to take chances and I made some mistakes […] I think we really had a good shot at winning the overall title.”

Super All-Wheel Control is an advanced full-time 4WD system developed by MMC, which monitors and regulates torque and brake force at each wheel for improved handling, safety and performance.

Data from the car, which featured a 4WD quad-motor set-up, lightweight chassis and aerodynamic shell, will be fed back into the development of MMC’s ‘e-EVOLUTION’ technology – an integration of MiEV’s electric motor configuration and dynamic S-AWC system.

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