Tony O'Kane | Jun 16, 2014

Mitsubishi has announced that it will return to Colorado later this month to take another tilt at the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, its third attempt at conquering the mountain with an all-electric vehicle.

The automaker will bring two examples of its MiEV Evolution III race car to Pikes Peak, both of which are a development of the MiEV Evolution II cars that competed at last year's event.

And with 112.5kW electric motors mounted in each wheel hub, the MiEV Evolution III's 450kW should be more than enough to rocket the tube-framed prototype race car up the mountain.

Compared to last year's entry, the MiEV Evolution III has 50kW more power and a lighter chassis.

Further refinements have also been made to its torque-vectoring software to improve traction, and the Evolution III's carbon fibre bodyshell generates more downforce.

The wheel and tyre package has also been upsized to maximise grip on the all-tarmac Pikes Peak route.

Electric cars hold a unique advantage over conventionally engined vehicles at Pikes Peak, due to their immunity to changes in air density.

While an air-breathing engine has to contend with reduced air density as the route travels up the 14,110ft high mountain, an electric motor performs just as well at this altitude as it does in the much thicker air at sea level.

Driving the cars will be Dakar Champ Hiroshi Masuoka and Pikes Peak motorcycle veteran Greg Tracy.

To achieve victory in the new Electric Modified division, Mitsubishi will need to set a cracking pace. Last year's winner in the Electric category was Japanese racing legend Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, a Pikes Peak veteran whoo finished the race in his all-electric E-Runner prototype in just 9:46.530.

And with last year's MiEV Evolution II taking second place behind Tajima, Mitsubishi undoubtedly has its crosshairs set firmly on the Japanese driver.

To give you an idea of just how Tajima's run was, check out the footage below.

MORE: Mitsubishi News and Reviews


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