mitsubishi i-miev


The i-Miev The production, on-sale-now,Japanese-market i-Miev has its steering wheel on the wrong side, but it drives just fine. It’s also a familiar face around here, since PM’s Ben Stewart drove it back during the 2008 New York Auto Show .
The i-Miev is a creature built for urban mobility. At only 133.7-inches long overall, it’salmost a full foot shorter thana Mini Cooper and it rides on super-narrow 145/65R15 front and 175/55R15 rear tires. But with its 47-kilowatt engine driving the rear wheels and 330-volt li-ion battery pack mounted low in the chassis, it’s stable and nimble. The motor’s instantaneous torque means there’s seemingly always thrust available, and the 63.4-inch tall i-Miev can squirt through traffic holes that behemoths like the HondaCivic or Mazda3 wouldn’t even dare. Forget issues of range and charging time for a moment—it’s hard to think of any vehicle better suited for pounding across the cityscapethan the i-Miev, no matter what the drivetrain.
At just 58.1-inches wide, however, the i-Miev is too narrow for full-size American hips. The driver always has one knee digging into the right front door panel and theleft knee slapping against the center console and shifter (calling it a “gear shifter” would be somewhat inaccurate). The dashboard isa study in minimalism and grayplastic, but the graphic display is informative enough.And its sort of nice to see a single-DIN audio unit again—it’s very 1989.
The i-Miev is about the furthest thing from a luxury car imaginable. In fact, the thinseats and unpretentious decoration are probably too Spartan for American buyers, particularly in light of a projected price of around$30,000 (before any government kickbacks, incentives, tax breaks, subventions and bribes). And sentencing any adult to prolonged confinement in the rear seat would be in violation of numerous international treaties against the mistreatment of prisoners of war.
Mitsubishi promises that the i-Miev that comes to America will be wider, “sassier” and more accommodating of this market’s tastes and body types than the Japanese market version. Here’s hopingthat the extra measure of comfort doesn’t come at the expense of nimbleness.
In normal driving—normal for an electric car with regenerative braking and driven with light throttle application and the air conditioning, lights and wipersoff—Mitsubishi has the i-Miev going about 85 miles on a full charge. Fully charging the battery using a 220-volt should take 7 hours, and a 110-volt system should need about twice that.

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