June 28, 2014
What's New for 2014
MiEV Evolution III
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb competition is a time trial event for automobiles and motorcycles held annually at Colorado Springs, Colorado around Independence Day weekend that attracts over 150 competitors every year.
The very first event was held in 1916 and it is the second oldest motorsports event in the United States following the famed Indianapolis 500.
Pikes Peak is located in the Rocky Mountains just 16 miles west of Colorado Springs. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a unique time trial competition commencing at an elevation of 9,390 feet, with the race course winding its way around the mountain, all the way up to the finish line located at a sky-high 14,110 foot elevation mark.
The course length of 12.42 miles consists of 156 corners, and with an average climb gradient of 7 percent, it imposes extraordinarily challenging driving conditions upon the driver while navigating up the mountain.
Additionally, due to the great elevation change from the start line to the finish line (a climb of 4,720 feet), dealing with temperature, air pressure, weather and other atmospheric conditions adds to the unique challenges of this intense competition.
2014 Pikes Peak: The Challenge
Mitsubishi Motors believes strongly that motorsports is the ultimate proving ground for vehicles as demonstrated by its successful history with multiple championships in the extremely difficult World Rally Championship (WRC) and Dakar Rally. Mitsubishi Motors is the first auto manufacturer to successfully mass-produce and market a 100 percent electric-powered vehicle, and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and its derivatives combined with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV have already sold about 50,000 units throughout Japan, Europe and Asia. The Japanese auto manufacturer would like to continue developing and advancing EV technology so that it remains the leader in this new form of high-tech, eco-friendly transportation.
Mitsubishi Motors' inaugural two-car campaign in the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was a resounding success that saw Hiroshi Masuoka pilot the advanced i-MiEV Evolution racing prototype to second place and Beccy Gordon, in her essentially stock version of the 100 percent electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, finish in sixth place in the Electric Vehicle (EV) class.
The Japanese auto manufacturer entered a pair of new racing prototypes dubbed the MiEV Evolution II for the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Along with two-time Dakar Rally winner Hiroshi Masuoka, American racer Greg Tracy, a six-time Pikes Peak overall motorcycle champion and 2002 SCORE international off-road series champion, partnered with the Japanese driver. Qualifying first and second, Masuoka and Tracy recorded excellent results by finishing second and third, respectively, in the hotly contested Electric Vehicle (EV) class at Pikes Peak last year.
Drivers Masuoka and Tracy will once again return to battle it out in the 2014 edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the Electric Vehicle (EV) class and they will be doing so in the most advanced Mitsubishi Motors racing prototype to date in a pair of all-new MiEV Evolution III racing prototypes.
Both vehicles will be powered by Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology, with this dynamic duo's goal being the ultimate prize – setting a record time in the all-new MiEV Evolution III within the Electric Vehicle (EV) division.
Completely redesigned from the ground up, the MiEV Evolution III features a unique four-motor drivetrain (two front/two rear) based on a modified high-output version of the production Mitsubishi i-MiEV street-legal electric vehicle motor, new clean-sheet aerodynamically-enhanced carbon-fiber bodywork providing a vastly improved level of downforce, a revamped tube-frame chassis with greatly increased structural rigidity, an updated and improved version of Mitsubishi Motors' highly-advanced proprietary Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive technology, and state-of-the-art high-capacity lithium-ion batteries by Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ).
Mitsubishi Motors' main goal will be to use the data obtained through the participation in this grueling hill climb event to enhance the durability and reliability of its advanced 100 percent electric vehicles (EV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and conventional gas- or diesel-powered hybrid vehicles in the company's future vehicle development.
Last year's Pikes Peak effort yielded a cornucopia of vitally important data to the benefit of not only the all-new MiEV Evolution III racing prototype but for production cars like the i-MiEV and the upcoming Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
For example, feedback and data derived from last year's i-MiEV Evolution II racing prototype and its outstanding all-wheel drive system is being used to develop the unique twin electric motor-based Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system found on the Outlander PHEV – the first of its kind on a production crossover vehicle – when it arrives in Mitsubishi Motors dealerships in the U.S. slated for 2015.
The Mitsubishi Motors EV racing team will compete with a pair of highly advanced state-of-the-art 100 percent electric-powered vehicles in the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb event to not only increase the awareness and visibility of the electric vehicle (EV) but also to demonstrate the high level of technology engineered into each Mitsubishi Motors electric vehicle and its EV-related components and systems.
Engineers from the development division of Mitsubishi Motors are part of the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb effort to promote closer ties and the sharing of technology and know-how for the purpose of further boosting the company's already class-leading electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) development capabilities.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will utilize the data and technical know-how garnered through its participation in the event in its @earth TECHNOLOGY*1 next-generation advanced technology R&D program for eventual use in future production vehicles.
*1: MMC's tagline for a raft of next-generation advanced technologies which aim to contribute to environmental responsibility and to deliver driving pleasure as well as reassuring safety.
Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III
Based upon the in-depth knowledge and excellent second- and third-place finishes achieved in last year's outing at Pikes Peak with the innovative Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution II all-electric racing prototype, this year's Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III is an entirely new design that takes Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology to a whole new level.
The all-new MiEV Evolution III is a purpose-built prototype racing machine designed specifically to compete in the 2014 running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb event.
In addition to its lightweight yet sturdy tube-frame chassis and its aerodynamically-enhanced carbon-fiber bodywork for reduced drag with maximum downforce, other design features incorporated into the MiEV Evolution III racing car are a unique quad-motor drivetrain featuring four enhanced electric motors, next-generation lithium-ion main battery pack and a powerfully efficient competition driving regenerative braking system – the latter item to not only provide ample stopping power, but to also feed valuable "free" energy back into the lithium-ion main drive battery pack.
Key Components Sourced from Mitsubishi Motors Production Cars
The all-new MiEV Evolution III is a prototype racing car but two key components are carried over from Mitsubishi Motors' revolutionary street-legal electric vehicle (EV) and the company's all-new 7-passenger crossover vehicle.
These items include the Motor Control Unit (MCU) from the production Mitsubishi i-MiEV that oversees/manages the electric motors, as well as the advanced Electric Power Steering (EPS) system found on the stylish, all-new 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander crossover vehicle.
This will help to improve these components and systems not only for these current Mitsubishi Motors production vehicles but on numerous EVs, plug-in electric vehicles (PHEV) and other technologically advanced vehicles that Mitsubishi Motors will be launching in the near future such as the upcoming plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version of the all-new Outlander.
MiEV Evolution III: Technology Headed to Future Mitsubishi Production Cars
At the other end of the design spectrum, the all-new Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III racing cars competing at the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will be powered by a prototype lithium-ion main drive battery pack that features a next-generation cell structure for enhanced electrical energy storage.
What's more, this new lithium-ion main drive battery pack makes use of a new cooling system design that weighs less than previous systems also while providing more effective heat dissipation – important engineering/design technology that will likely lead to improvements to Mitsubishi Motors production vehicles.
The all-new MiEV Evolution III features a unique four electric motor drivetrain, with a pair of electric motors situated along both the front and rear drivelines.
These electric motors are identical to those found in the production Mitsubishi i-MiEV, but they have received a software upgrade as well as some hardware reinforcement to comply with the higher voltage; power output is well over double that of the production i-MiEV's 49 kW (65.7 horsepower) power output to a potent 112.5 kW (approximately 150 horsepower).
This new configuration greatly boosts the vehicle's total power output immensely. While last year's MiEV Evolution II produced a total of 400 kW (approximately 536 horsepower; 100 kW from each of the four electric motors) this year's all-new MiEV Evolution III belts out a prodigious 450 kW (more than 600 horsepower; 112.5 kW from each electric motor).
This is a tremendous increase in electric vehicle drivetrain performance when one considers that the original i-MiEV Evolution electric prototype race car that competed in the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb produced a total of 240 kW (321.7 horsepower; 80 kW from each of its three electric motors)
The four electric motors powering the MiEV Evolution III are cooled in a nearly identical manner to that of the electric motor found in the production Mitsubishi i-MiEV, using a similar water-cooled system. However, the cooling system for the 2014 race car has been redesigned for improved cooling performance as well as a reduction in weight.
Lithium-ion Main Drive Battery Pack
While the original i-MiEV Evolution prototype racing car made use of the identical lithium-ion batteries found in the Mitsubishi i-MiEV production car (just more of them to boost the lithium-ion main drive battery pack's total storage capacity from the production i-MiEV's 16 kWh to 35 kWh in the i-MiEV Evolution race car), the all-new MiEV Evolution III makes use of an advanced next-generation prototype lithium-ion battery design developed by Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ) that boosts storage capacity all the way up to 50 kWh.
Engineers designed a new structure to house the lithium-ion battery cells for the 2014 Pikes Peak racing machine. Made entirely from carbon-fiber reinforced polymer, the new structure offers exceptional strength and rigidity as a protective encasement to the state-of-the-art lithium-ion main drive battery pack – along with a substantial reduction in weight from the protective housing surrounding the battery pack on the original i-MiEV Evolution.
The production Mitsubishi i-MiEV can be conveniently charged by either an ordinary 120V electrical wall outlet (Level 1), a 240V home charger (Level 2) or by a rapid CHAdeMO DC quick charger. The i-MiEV Evolution III is charged exclusively by CHAdeMo DC quick charger.
The MiEV Evolution III features a strong yet lightweight tube-frame chassis – a design practice common to contemporary motorsports. For the 2014 Pikes Peak race, the structural rigidity of this tube-frame chassis has been greatly increased over last year's race car through the use of new materials as well as structural reinforcements. This more rigid chassis design, along with much stiffer spring and damper settings, was necessitated by the MiEV Evolution III's tremendous increase in top speed and cornering quickness and their accompanying greater forces/loads.
The all-new Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III has also received an extensive makeover in its exterior design to create more efficient downforce. Sections of the carbon-fiber-based body have been aerodynamically enhanced through both wind tunnel research and computer-aided design (CAD) to reduce drag while providing welcome downforce.
The most visible of these bodywork changes are the much longer front splitter (greatly extends the vehicle's undertray to create even more downforce) and the pair of "winglets" positioned on the front fenders just forward of the front wheels (providing greater downforce at the front of the vehicle). Other less subtle-looking exterior enhancements include a new rear wing main plane design and new corner piece extensions near the rear wheels (for more downforce at the rear of the vehicle and less aerodynamic drag).
The suspension design at all four corners of the vehicle is a sophisticated double-wishbone setup with coil-over racing dampers to allow fine tuning of the shock absorbers damping speed through bump and rebound adjustments.
Other improvements to the MiEV Evolution III's chassis include the fitment of 6-piston caliper front brakes (previously 4-piston calipers at the front of the vehicle) and massive 330/680-18 Dunlop racing tires (previously 260/660-18) fitted to lighter alloy wheels.
Furthermore, the new MiEV Evolution III is not only significantly more powerful than last year's Pikes Peak race cars but it is also lighter in overall weight.
The new MiEV Evolution III shares the identical electric motors and main-drive lithium-ion batteries as those found on last year's race cars; the motors/batteries and all of their accompanying componentry/hardware, however, have been developed further to provide improved performance across the board.
New for this year's Pikes Peak race car is a different gear ratio for the single-speed transmission. Testing and development work have demonstrated that this new gear ratio improves the vehicle's rate of acceleration when exiting corners – an extremely important performance trait for a competition hill climb vehicle.
A vitally important design change for this year's MiEV Evolution III is a new ECU system that has been optimized to precisely manage each individual motor – rather than overseeing the four electric motors collectively as was done in the past – for greater control, efficiency and performance.
By installing an enhanced prototype motor and reworking the inverter control settings, the electric motors are able to maintain maximum torque output over a much broader and higher rpm range in the power band. This translates into a more linear and greater power output from all four electric motors – and faster acceleration throughout the steep climb on the Pikes Peak course.
Of note, the accompanying inverter is virtually the same as the one used on the production Mitsubishi i-MiEV, save for a revision to some internal circuitry to handle the MiEV Evolution III race car's higher voltage output.
Advanced New Mitsubishi Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) All-Wheel Drive
The technologically-advanced Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system on the all-new MiEV Evolution III is an innovative AWD system that makes use of the unique quad-electric motor configuration to deliver power, torque, and tractability with absolute precision to each of the vehicle's wheels.
For this year's MiEV Evolution III, the S-AWC system has been improved all around. But one of the most meaningful performance enhancements to aid the drivers is improved torque vectoring that not only improves the vehicle's turn-in when cornering but also provides more precise power delivery.
The sophisticated Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system in the MiEV Evolution III combines the output from each of the pair of electric motors at the rear of the car, and distributes the power to the right- and left-side wheels to better control the vehicle's yaw rate by the use of electronically controlled torque vectoring.
The Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) installed on the MiEV Evolution III has been specifically configured for the Pikes Peak course. Joining the unique S-AWC system are specially-developed versions of Active Yaw Control (AYC), an anti-lock braking system (ABS) and Active Stability Control (ASC) to not only precisely control tractability but to aid the car's deceleration and turn-in as well as acceleration out of corners and overall vehicle stability.
With this set-up, the Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) acts essentially as a carbon copy of the highly regarded S-AWC system found on the legendary Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution super high-performance sports sedan – save for the cutting-edge all-electric drivetrain.
While the advanced S-AWC system on the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a mechanically controlled system through the Active Rear Differential, the MiEV Evolution III accomplishes this without hydraulics in a purely electronically-controlled setup for even faster vehicle turn-in/rotation. This electronically controlled mechanism is also being utilized for the S-AWC settings equipped on the Outlander PHEV vehicle coming to the U.S. market in 2015.
The two front/two rear electric motor layout is designed to provide an ideal front-to-rear ratio of power application. By doing so, Mitsubishi Motors engineers were able to achieve the tractability and stability benefits of all-wheel drive while allowing the car to have handling characteristics more akin to that of a rear-wheel drive vehicle – the best of both worlds in terms of ideal high-performance vehicle dynamics.
Depending upon the condition of the road surface at Pikes Peak, the team will be able to adjust the power and torque vectoring application level to maximize the vehicle's dynamic performance.
Data gathered from this new Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system will be used to help further improve the Mitsubishi proprietary all-wheel drive system. This will help develop our future production vehicles to have enhanced handling and safer technology when it arrives in dealer showrooms.
Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III Specifications
|Length x Width x Height||5,190mm×2,000mm×1,485mm|
|Motors||Configuration||4 units（2 Front, 2 Rear)|
|Max Output||450kW（112.5 kW×4 units)|
|Battery||Total Electric Power||50kWh|
Scoring an impressive second-place finish in his last visit to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the Electric Vehicle class in 2013 behind the wheel of the Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution II prototype race car, Hiroshi Matsuoka is ready for this year's Race to the Clouds challenge in the all-new Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III.
Hiroshi is a Japanese rally racing legend, having scored overall victories in such prestigious events as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Rally, the Italian Baja and the world famous Dakar Rally.
In 2002 and 2003, he became the first Japanese driver to win the grueling Dakar Rally in consecutive years.
Hiroshi has been a participant in numerous off-road racing events around the world beginning in 1981; he first contested the Dakar Rally beginning in 1987.
"This year sees our third attempt and we will be going for victory in the EV class. The MiEV Evolution III brings significantly better cornering performance after improvements to the motors, aerodynamics and tires. Together with Greg Tracy, we will be going flat-out for victory."
He is currently employed full-time at Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) as Senior Expert, Product Strategy, where his unique skills are put to excellent use in vehicle development and in analyzing components, working as a vehicle test driver and in Mitsubishi driver development, and operating/managing domestic and overseas test drives and events.
Hiroshi currently resides in Irima, Saitama Prefecture, Japan.
|2013||Pikes Peak International Hill Climb||2nd (EV Class)|
|2012||Pikes Peak International Hill Climb||2nd (EV Class)|
|2004||Paris-Dakar Rally||2nd (EV Class)|
|Italian Baja Rally||Winner|
|2001||Paris-Dakar Rally||2nd (EV Class)|
|1998||Paris-Dakar Rally||4th (Class Winner)|
|1997||Paris-Dakar Rally||4th (Class Winner)|
|1995||Paris-Dakar Rally||10th (Class Winner)|
|1994||Paris-Dakar Rally||4th (Class Winner)|
|1990||Paris-Dakar Rally||10th (Class Winner)|
|1987||Paris-Dakar Rally (Rookie)||29th|
|1981||Domestic JFADA Rally Championship||Series Champion|
Greg Tracy brings a wealth of Pikes Peak knowledge to the Mitsubishi Motors racing team as a six-time overall champion in the motorcycle division of this famous Rocky Mountain road race. He finished in third place in the Electric Vehicle (EV) division in the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb driving the Mitsubishi Motors MiEV Evolution II.
An accomplished off-road racer, Greg was the 2002 SCORE International off-road series champion. He also won that year's Baja 1000 off-road race.
When Greg isn't racing, he is a much-in-demand Hollywood stunt driver, his artistic driving and car-control skills on full display in numerous movies, television shows and commercials.
As a Hot Wheels Team Green Driver, Greg achieved a remarkable Guinness World Record for completing the outrageously precarious Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare at the 2012 X Games.
|2013||Pikes Peak International Hill Climb||3rd (EV Class)|
|2012||Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Bike Division (1200cc)||Broke 10 Minute Lap Barrier|
|2012||XGames Double Loop Dare||Guinness World Record|
|2008-2010||Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Bike Division (1200cc)||Winner|
|2006||Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Bike Division (Super Moto)||Winner|
|2002||SCORE International Off-Road Series||Series Champion|
|1999||Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Bike Division (250cc)||Winner|
|1996||Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Bike Division (250cc)||Winner|
Mitsubishi Motors would like to thank its partners in their support of the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb:
dSPACE Japan K.K.
Dunlop Goodyear Tires Ltd.
Endless Advance Co., Ltd.
GS Yuasa Corporation
Meidensha CorporationMitsubishi Automotive Engineering Co., Ltd.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Mitsubishi Motors Dealers Association
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line)
Tsuchiya Co., Ltd