2012 Mitsubishi i
Mitsubishi had a sweet idea, pairing up with the Jelly Belly Candy Company for some custom graphics to plaster on the side of the automaker’s upcoming electric car, the 2012 Mitsubishi i.
2012 Mitsubishi iEnlarge Photo
The novel promotion, in conjunction with the opening of the 2011 Sweets & Snacks Expo, featured a quartet of Mitsubishi EVs donning brightly-colored Jelly Belly graphics, roaming the streets of Chicago. The pairing with Jelly Belly is actually kind of a natural, since the Mitsubishi i sort of looks like a jellybean – in profile, at least. (Note that the photos only show three of the Jelly Belly/Mitsubishi EVs.)
While the Jelly Belly/Mitsubishi EVs aren’t for sale, the automaker hopes to raise public awareness of the new Mitsubishi i for when it goes on sale this November with a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $27,990 (before any federal or state incentives). With a net value of $20,490 (after tax savings), the automaker says Mitsubishi i will be the most affordable, mass-produced electric vehicle in America.
The four-passenger all-electric 2012 Mitsubishi i will join a growing array of EVs from various manufacturers. The i gets its power from an integrated management system called Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology. With a 49 kW AC synchronous motor, 16 kWh lithium-ion battery, the rear-wheel drive Mitsubishi i can reach a top speed of 80 miles per hour.
The Nissan Leaf, probably the closest competitor, seats five to Mitsubishi i’s four, has more headroom and legroom front/rear (41.2/37.3 inches headroom, 42.1/31.1 inches legroom in Leaf compared to 33.8/30.0 inches headroom, 35.6/34.3 inches legroom in Mitsubishi i, and greater cargo capacity of 14.5 cubic feet (versus the Mitsubishi EV’s 13.0 cubic feet). But the Leaf carries a higher starting MSRP of $32,780 (before tax savings), and $25,280 net value after tax savings. The Leaf also travels an estimated 100 miles on a single charge while Mitsubishi i has an estimated 83-mile range before a recharge is required.
Other EV choices (available now or forthcoming) include the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, 2012 Honda Fit EV, 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid (PHV) and RAV4 EV, and 2011 Smart Fortwo electric drive.
One more point about the jellybean reference – one of the five colors the 2012 Mitsubishi i will come in is raspberry. Imagine that in the garage next to your gasoline-powered family sedan. The Mitsubishi EV will also be available in Cool Silver, Labrador Black, Diamond White Pearl, and Diamond White Pearl and Ocean Blue two-tone.
[Mitsubishi via PR Newswire]