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First Look: 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

U.S. sales set to launch next autumn.

by on Nov.09, 2010

Longer, larger, the U.S. version of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is set for an autumn 2011 launch.

Barely a week before its official debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, Mitsubishi is giving us a good look at its new battery car, the 2012 i-MiEV.

The shots of this production-ready 5-door reveal a battery-electric vehicle that is larger in virtually every dimension than the Mitsubishi i-MiEV available in the Japanese market.  The low-slung nose, meanwhile, shows that the Japanese company took advantage of the way an electric vehicle operates to complete shift design directions, since they no longer have to design around a big internal combustion vehicle under the hood.

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Compared to the Mitsubishi i-MiEV designed for Japan, the U.S. version will be 11.2 inches longer, 4.3 inches wider and 0.2 inches taller.  The front and rear bumpers eat up some of that extra length, as they have now been modified to meet American crash regulations.

The pictures, seen here, suggest that much of the added size, however, has gone into a significantly roomier cabin – and a much better-appointed one, as well, with a subtle two-tone interior and an improved console compared to the earlier i-MiEV concept.