Mitsubishi will enter the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hillclimb – the 92nd running of the prestigious event – with its specially built electric racecar, it announced today.
The team finished second and third in the electric class at the 2013 event, and will use the same drivers – former motorcycle class winner, Greg Tracy, and Dakar-rally winner Hiroshi Masuoka – for the 12.42-mile climb to the 14,110ft summit.
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evo III: in detail
The bewinged Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution III is 4.7m long and 1.9m wide, with an electric motor at each corner to send a total of 600bhp through all four wheels. Its spaceframe chassis hosts double wishbones at each corner, and for 2014, it has a new more aerodynamic nose.
It’s not alone – Toyota also competes at Pikes Peak with its own electric racer, driven to 16th overall in 2013 at the hands of legendary Kiwi, Rod Millen.
What’s the overall record at Pikes Peak?
Who can forget 2013’s run by Sebastien Loeb in the all-conquering Peugeot 208 T16? The 875bhp beast and the most successful World Rally Championship driver in history decimated Rhys Millen’s record by a staggering 90 seconds, recording a time of 8min 13.878sec at an average speed of 87.47mph. Up a winding mountain road…
So do the EVs stand a chance at Pikes Peak in 2014?
They sure do. In 2013, an electric motorcycle won its class, and finished ninth overall, with the nearest internal combustion-powered competitor 20sec adrift.
On top of that, Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima – former record holder, and the first man to break the 10-minute barrier – drove an EV to fifth overall.
Tajima’s time of 9min 46.530sec was eerily close to the 2012 overall record that Loeb beat – Millen’s time was 9min 46.146sec. We should see an EV beating Millen’s former record this year if conditions are right. As for Loeb’s, well… we’re not holding our breath.
>> The Pikes Peak International Hillclimb will take place on June 29, 2014. www.ppihc.com