Peter Anderson | May 21, 2012

Mitsubishi has revealed its Pike's Peak power play this week, unveiling two racing versions of its i-MiEV electric car.

First reported here in March, Mitsubishi will take both cars to the iconic hillclimb - one a prototype all-wheel drive racer, and the other a close-to-standard version of the production model.

The prototype racer is heavily-modified, and a somewhat distant relative to the other half of Mitsubishi's Pike's Peak line-up.

True to the concept sketches, the low-slung single-seater looks like a cross between the diminutive Aussie Racecars and a Le Mans sports car.

In what is perhaps a study in understatement, Mitsubishi has named it the i-MiEV Evolution.

Fitted with three electric motors plucked from the production line and each given a 31kW boost to 80kW, the carbon fibre racer produces 240kW.

One motor drives the front wheels while the rears get one each to tackle the high-altitude gravel track. A 35kWh battery pack (up from the standard 16kWh) will feed the motors.

The tubular frame chassis rolls on 245/40 tyres wrapped around 18-inch alloys and stands at just under 134cm tall. Huge splitters front and rear, along with a previously-unseen rear wing, will keep it on the ground along the climb.

The production version comes in for very few changes, most of them safety-related.

The front bumper is restyled for aerodynamics and space for a towing eye, while the interior is fitted with regulation roll-cage and other mandatory safety gear.

The engine and batteries are standard, with the 49kW/180Nm motor driving the rear wheels.

The Evolution will be piloted by previous multiple Dakar winner Hiroshi Matsuoka. The standard version will be run by Beccy Gordon (sister to Robby), a winner in the Score International Off-Road Series.

The i-MiEVs will be competing against an as-yet unnamed Toyota entry and a range of other prototype racers in the electric category.

The Pike's Peak International Hillclimb will be run in Colorado from July 3 to 8.

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