Mitsubishi will show its ultra-compact i-minicar next week at the New York International Auto Show. The stylish little vehicle is a gas-powered version of the slightly-better-known i-MIEV electric car concept, which will also be on display at the show. Unlike the i-MIEV, the ‘i’ is a production model that has been selling in Japan since 2006.
The four-seater i-minicar utilizes a lightweight aluminum chassis. It is powered by a three-cylinder 64-horsepower gas engine, combining a turbocharger with variable valve timing to achieve approximately 55 miles per gallon. Top speed is approximately 90 miles per hour. Though highway-capable, the ‘i’ is ideal for city driving with its concise overall length of 133.7. inches—28 inches longer than the Smart ForTwo and a foot shorter than the Mini Cooper—and a tight 13 foot turning radius. ABS and Electronic Brake Distribution come as standard safety features.
American consumers thirsty for greener car alternatives may want a definitive answer on when the i-minicar and/or i-Miev wil be introduced in the United States. But that question is not likely to be answered in New York or anytime soon.