|The rear-midship layout of the i.|
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today launched its new i minicar at Mitsubishi dealerships throughout Japan. Using a newly developed platform with an original rear-midship layout that mounts the engine forward of the rear axle line, the new i series includes 2WD and 4WD models.
The i platform is also the basis for Mitsubishi’s just-introduced Concept-CT series/parallel hybrid. (Earlier post.)
The i uses a new 3-cylinder, 660cc turbocharged engine with variable valve timing (earlier post) that delivers 47kW (63 hp) of power and 94 Nm of torque, coupled with a four-speed automatic transmission. The car delivers fuel consumption of 5.43 l/100km (43.3 mpg US) in the 2WD model, 5.56 l/100km (42.3 mpg US) in the 4WD version.
Emissions are 50% lower than the Japanese 2005 Low-Emission Vehicle requirements. The i emits 126 grams of CO2/km.
The rear-midship layout (which is also used in the Concept-CT), allows the front wheels to be placed as far forward as possible, and enables a wheelbase of 2,550 mm for the i—substantially longer than in any minicar to date.
Prices range from ¥1.3 million to ¥1.6 million (about US$11,300 to US$14,000); Mitsubishi is targeting sales of 5,000 units per month.