From a blogger's perspective, the Mitsubishi i suffers from just one fatal flaw. It is very difficult to write about because everyone will always be wondering if you're typing it wrong. But no...the name of the car is simply a lower case i. I guess all the other companies were adding an "i" to the front of their product's name, so Mitsubishi decided to just eliminate the latter part.
Anyhow, despite the name, the i is a fantastic Japanese automobile, though it is little-known outside of Japan. You'll notice it looks an awful lot like a Smart Car, but with a few advantages that make it more practical and more fun. First, the i is a four-seater with four doors. The car is larger than the Smart Car, and thus considerably roomier. However, it's stil a tiny car, making it practical mostly for big-city use.
But what's most interesting about the i is that it's somehow started to take home some extremely prestigious awards. Wheras you might think that Toyota would be raking up al the "Most Advanced Technology" awards from Japan's Executive Committee, but this year's went to the i.
The i's engine is an extremely advanced, extremely efficient, yet powerful, diesel. Additionally, the engine is located just in front of the rear axle, making the car more stable at high speeds, and removing the front bulge that is responsible for a significant amount of drag. The i has gathered a cult following in Japan, and has sold about 35,000 units, an extremely respectable rate for an all-japanese car.
Mitsubishi is planning on releasing the car in the UK soon. Their UK managing director says of the i:
"The i offers a genuine alternative in a congested market. Its diminutive dimensions make it an ideal choice for the forward-thinking city dweller, but it's also capable on the open road. In Japan, the i has already become a cult car and we're confident that its space and sophistication, coupled with Mitsubishi's reputation for quality and reliability, will also make it a hit in the UK."
There's no news on the U.S. launch. Likely, this is because no one in America would buy one. Alas.
Additional exciting i news? Indeed there is. Mitsubishi is eyeing a 2010 launch for an all-electic lithium-ion version of the i called the i MIEV. With Mitsubishi bringing home Japan's "Most Advanced Technology" award, and eyeing a pure EV launch, you've got to wonder if Toyota is feeling a bit to comfortable with it's new-found green glory.
Via Good Clean Tech
written by Joe, August 28, 2007
written by intensive driving, August 28, 2007
I've actually sat in one
written by Hun Boon, September 05, 2007
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