In 2007, Mitsubishi unveiled a prototype of a sporty electric vehicle called the i MiEV Sport at the Tokyo auto show. This year the company will follow up with what appears to be the convertible version, aptly named the i MiEV Sport Air concept, at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.
The purpose of the concept is to gauge interest for a zero-emission vehicle that also delivers "exhilarating driving pleasure." Mitsubishi says the concept's electric motor delivers powerful torque along with the car's stable driving and handling. The former claim is due to the low center of gravity since the battery is mounted under the floor. Another highlight of the concept is the car's removable roof to allow the driver to let nature in.
Little else was mentioned about the new concept, but we can speculate from Mitsubishi's i MiEV Sport concept that was shown in Tokyo in 2007. It featured motors in the front wheels that produced approximately 27 horsepower and a single motor that powered the rear wheels and made about 63 horsepower. The Sport's lithium-ion battery pack was also floor-mounted and provided a range of up to 124 miles.
Mitsubishi will officially unveil the i MiEV Sport Air concept at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show in March. If it receives a warm welcome in Switzerland, there is a good possibility that some variation of the car will reach production. The company is currently readying a four-door i MiEV that is expected to go on sale in Japan next summer for about $25,000.