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Car Tech Video: Out-smug Prius drivers in the 2012 Mitsubishi i-Miev

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Car Tech Video: Out-smug Prius drivers in the 2012 Mitsubishi i-Miev

5:59 /

If you want to experience golf cart driving on the highway and make Prius drivers look like polluters, you should take a ride on the 2012 Mitsubishi i-Miev.

This little golf cart on steroids is the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Mitsubishi electric car. Let's take a look and check the tech. The i-MiEV is based on a car that Mitsubishi sells in Japan. Originally, it's a gas-engined car with a very small 660 CC gas engine in back. Now, it's been converted to electricity for the Mi-EV version but its part of Japan's (??)K-car plus which means it's very small, it's really just designed for cities. You can see like these wheels are only 15 inches and they're tiny. They do have low rolling resistance which will work well for an electric car and make it get better range. You also have 4 doors too which in this case, it's really just intended for 4 people. You put too much weight and it's gonna put a lot of stress on the electric motor. Now, as the i-MiEV is rear-wheel drive, the electric motor is back under here. We can actually lift up this compartment and hook up this panel here and take a look at what they call the motor room. Although we don't really see an electric motor here, the 49 kilowatt electric motor is buried under this control electronics, buried further back in there as a lithium ion battery pad. That's 16 kilowatt hours, supposed to get you 63 miles according to the EPA estimates. Now, this is the part where you recharge the I-MiEV. Just pop open the hatch, pop in the plug port and plug in the adapter that Mitsubishi provides for you and you can leave it charging overnight. On a 110, it will take about 22 and a half hours to give this car a full charge from a dead battery. You can also recharge at 240 volt outlet, that will only take 7 and a half hours. So, that's more like an overnight charge right there. Our version of the i-MiEV, we've got the $3000 premium pocket which includes this head unit here. Head unit is pretty standard at the market stock. When you see this in some other Mitsubishi cars, but funny thing is, this isn't really tailored for an electric car. For example, I've got the navigation system here, hit the menu, hit the points of interest, and there's (??) the gas stations. Not very useful for this car and there's no lost of electric charging stations either which would be helpful. There may have some pretty good looking on this system, they're actually stored on a high drive which also means you get space for music on the system as well, and there's I-Pod integration, they also have phone integration here. In this navigation system, also shows traffic. Now, this head unit also has a CD Player but you won't see a slot anywhere along here, you have to push that button and we got this great kind of thing where the whole panel opens up and there is a slot back here to get your range and things like that. You gotta go to (vinchment?) cluster. Now, this is a pretty cool instrument cluster, you know, you've got a digital readout for the speed right in the middle here. You also have just the one gig which flips over and shows you when you're using power and when you're recharging but to see your range and how many miles you've driven and all that good tripping provision, there's one little gauge over here on the right. Now, Mitsubishi put the twitters on the dashboard here, both, one on left, one on the right, facing back into the car's cabin. A lot of cars of will have them on the (??) facing across which is in a great placement for creating a good sound fill. Putting them in front of the cabin is much better. Now, of course, here we have our old friend, the shifter but, being an electric car, doesn't go to any kind of transmission and of course, we can put it in reverse, neutral, drive. Then we have an eco-mode and then B-mode too. B, of course, engine breaking which will maximize regeneration. We'll try that out on the road later. One of the key things about this car, the different drive modes. So, right now, I got it in D which is just standard driving, you get pretty good acceleration. Then, you can put it in eco-mode, really takes a lot of the edge of that (??), it's really hard to get speed built up quickly. That will save you a lot of juice in the battery and it also instigates a lot more breaking regeneration too. So, as soon as I let off, it really starts to slow graphically and the middle on the gauge here goes right into the blue zone which indicates it's recharging the battery. The other mode, the last mode we have here is the B, breaking mode. That is best for going downhill, that will maximize the regeneration from the breaks to the battery and it actually doesn't need to throttle at all which is nice, especially if you're on hills or going in hill situations but as soon as I lift off, just immediately goes to maximum recharge. It's pulling as much electricity as possible from the wheels into the battery. This car looks kind of like a golf cart on the outside that drives kind of a golf cart too. It's got the electric drive train so it's in immediate... It's a very a mere acceleration, very quiet driving experience but with a small tires and a really city designed car, doesn't feel really stable. When you get off the high speeds on the freeway, it really feels a little scary especially if you have wind and things like that, they're gonna pull it all over the place. And speed below 40 miles per hour, it's fine, so it will work great in your city, your suburban environment. With it's range of 63 miles, the 2012 Mitsubishi I-MiEV is really really good as a city car for the suburbs. It goes on sale later this year for a base price of $31,125. Our car here is auctioned up to $34,215 and with a federal tax credit of $7500, various State credits you can probably find depending on where you live, you can get those car in the low 20's which is a pretty good price for a modern electric car.

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