Lately, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation completed the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) held in Colorado, United States from August 7 to August 12 with one i-MiEV Evolution (specially-built racecar) and one more Mitsubishi i. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is known as Mitsubishi I in North America. Both cars are 100% electric-powered car.
It is the second oldest motor sports race in America and a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region. The race is ran on a 12.42 mile course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit of America’s Mountain; Pikes Peak!
From team Mitsubishi, Mr. Hiroshi Masuoka and Ms. Beccy Gordon competed the race with two all electric-cars, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution and a regular production i.
Hiroshi Masuoka, Team Principal of Mitsubishi Motors and driver of the i-MiEV Evolution, finished second in the Electric Vehicle class with a time of 10:30.850. He was the eighth overall fastest in a field of 170 cars. This was the first time that the Japanese driver and the team competed in the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Off the start line, Masuoka displayed tremendous pace. The electric vehicle’s instant torque and powerful acceleration meant that Masuoka did not waste much time getting up to speed. He split the first timing beam in 1:56.862. By then, Masuoka had already raced a distance of more than 11 kilometres and had climbed more than 2,500 feet above the starting line.
By the end of the race, Masuoka had tackled 156 corners, raced a distance of 20 kilometres and finished 4,720 feet above where he started.
“I am very happy to finish the race. I want to thank the crew, engineers and the team for putting the car back together. The car felt fantastic and I was able to push the performance to the edge,” said an elated Hiroshi Masuoka. “It is a great finish for the whole team. I am pleased with the result.”
His teammate, Beccy Gordon who drove the production i-MiEV also finished the race. Her i-MiEV completed the climb in 15:10.557. She proved that the i-MiEV possessed the capability and performance to climb Pikes Peak, one of the most challenging races in the world.
Beccy’s primary objective was to finish the race, which would enable the Mitsubishi’s engineers to gather data. The data will be used to further improve the i-MiEV as well as the research and development of future Mitsubishi EV models.
Beccy Gordon, the driver of the production Mitsubishi i looked back at the event and said “I am very excited about both cars making it to the top in this very difficult Hill Climb. The Mitsubishi i proved its impressive performance by climbing the steep hills from the start to finish line without any reduction in performance. It was a lot of fun driving this electric vehicle, and it was a great challenge that made me realize the further prospects of electric vehicles in the future.
“Being the only female in her class, Beccy drove a strong race. The i-MiEV performed steadily as both car and driver navigated the snaking road that led up to the peak. It started to rain once Beccy reached 12,760 feet above sea level, a point also known as the ‘Bottomless Pit’.
Photo Gallery: Mitsubishi i-MiEV @ 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb