Will America land of big and small cars accept the ‘i’ of Mitsubishi Car?
Jan 26, 2010 | Comments 7
Hey the giant motors of America, Mitsubishi is not taking you to ego trail with the ‘I’ that it is bringing, but setting up itself in segment of small and mid car segment, with the new small and petite city car for American roads which could be easy to drive in and around the city even for carpools by nannies. With their already hit in Japan, the car named Mitsubishi i, they are about to launch it in America, when that is to be soon, but how soon even they have not predicted.
The i, is coming in gas and in with electric juice to power, on the test drive we really checked out its speed, as to can it adapt to the fast lanes of America? Taking this damsel car with gas, turbocharged 660cc we check it out on a hill, to know has its three-banger got all? As we drive higher to the altitude, speedometer kept ticking as we pushed the accelerator pedal more, with the harder push in the inviting tarmac, and as the indicator kept shifting in the right curve, 119, 121 and we just took the weight off after 122, though we got sure that it would have taken more push from us which could have been even 130, as it terminal velocity, this readings is kilometers per hour. A right hand drive, JDM- only, the top speed was some 76mph which could have been 80mph also. And point to be noted is it made no problem, and we successfully came back to try out the electric version, though that one was just a short ride as if testing our parking skills.
But my dear Mitshu naming this as i, is ruining its hatchback and tarring the family’s glory. Though in Japan it has won accolades and award as kei winning car, hey man this needs image makeover, at least its name to be a high selling car in small segment.
The Look: Small, sleek, petite and like a pretty damsel in vivid colors, this is narrow, though with good leg space and good headroom, in rear seat two can sit luxury, but third will make it just some comfort. There is space for a bag or two if going to take this for drive to Malibu. A rear mid-shape powertrain layout, getting winded. You will like the view from front when you sit yourself at driver seat, the traffic ahead will be seen all clear ( that can be thumbs up and down!), and even the rear back you can see well when parking or taking reverse, it will be easy and clear to get the view, with wide screen.
Chic, trendy and sporty.
The circuit and power inside the car: A rear engine, and behind its rear seats is real power house of the car- turbo/interecooled DOHC MIVEC 0.66-liter three-cylinder motor, very intricately designed fit in well in small body, the high tech pack of 65 horsepower, and the torque for this tiny metal car is 70 pound-feet, not much as you exclaim but people, this car just weighs under a ton, 1980 pounds and its all automatic gears we can be impressed then. The engine stands as per company’s repo.
The car is good for all the city people for everyday conveyance it seems, though i, needs to remind itself all again that it shall fail fed’s five mph bumper tests, the skinniest tires might be turn off then turn on, though it has its companies speed with it, but the tires may give a second thought about taking the car in some good motion. Has to learn a lesson from MG T. MacPherson strutting up needs some fattening up, with De Dion tube out in back, which has been fused and fettled over solid beam in the swing axle style might make this car more chic and sporty in look.
Will it or down with it?
Big cult in Japan, will this make in our markets? Already sold some 35,000 units that’s super good as per Japanese standards. 660cc turbo will also fail to pass the U.S emissions standards, though Mitshu whole heartedly promised to change before launching it in U.S.
Mileage- Mitshu is mum! But in Japan it is yelling it as 90mpg- makes it worth the buy!
Mitshu is counting on this car to make its strong hold in small car segment, though ‘i’ has the potential is what I can say with just few small make overs.
The tip for success: make it bit fatter, may be putting in about six inches wider will help.
Also change of name, just ‘i’ seems too short and not so cool here.