Mitsubishi has already announced plans to bring its electric mini-car, the iMiEV, to North America, but now the Japanese automaker is considering a gasoline version as well. The iMiEV is expected to arrive in the next two years and is now likely to be joined by a gasoline version, allowing dealers to benefit from higher volume sales.
In Europe the gasoline i gets a turbocharged 660cc engine, but that is likely to be tossed in favor of the same 1.0-liter three-cylinder found in what will be the car’s main competitor, the Smart fortwo, said Mitsubishi North America VP John Koenig. The decision to do so is an easy one as the Smart’s engine is already supplied by Mitsubishi.
Koenig also said that in order to make a business case for the gas-powered i, Mitsu would have to sell roughly 1,000 a month. That seems doable as Smart sold 20,000 units so far in 2009 and the i would likely be both more affordable and more functional, with four seats rather than two.
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]