Mitsubishi already confirmed plans to import its i-Miev electric car, but is now considering selling a gasoline-powered version of the microcar -- the i -- here as well.
When the i-Miev mini-electric car goes on sale, it will compete against the gasoline-powered Smart car, as the Smart Electric Drive isn’t currently sold in the U.S. To help potentially increase the i-Miev’s sales volume, Mitsubishi is considering adding a version of the car powered by a conventional gasoline engine.
The i is already sold using a 660-cc turbocharged gas engine in Europe and Japan. If the car were sold in the U.S., the small turbocharged unit would likely be replaced by a larger 1.0-liter normally-aspirated three-cylinder engine -- similar to the engine found in North American ForTwos.
John Koenig, executive vice president of operations at Mitsubishi Motors North America, says that a sales volume of 1000 units per month could probably persuade Mitsubishi to re-engineer the car for U.S. customers.
Mitsubishi will launch the electric i-Miev in approximately 18 months. If the gasoline version of the car is approved, it would arrive shortly after the electric car.
Source: Automotive News