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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sounds pretty cool to me. IF smart isn't going to build a specific 5-door model, I would rather see them rebadge this with interchangeable panels than the Renault. We're already familiar with the engine! :) It has the size and roominess characteristics that would work well for a 5-door smart.


Mitsubishi mulls gasoline version of wee EV

Mitsubishi, which already plans to import its i-MiEV electric minicar, is considering giving U.S. dealers a gasoline version of the little car.

The four-passenger car would compete against the Smart minicar. The Smart is imported from Europe, where Daimler AG builds it using a Mitsubishi engine.

The gasoline engine probably would be replaced with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine without turbocharging for the United States, says John Koenig, executive vice president for operations at Mitsubishi Motors North America.

The Smart has the same 1.0-liter Mitsubishi engine.

The i is just 133.7 inches long --about 2 feet longer than the Smart ForTwo -- and 5 feet 3 inches high. The i is surprisingly roomy, even for adults in the back seat.
 

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It wouldn't be difficult to replace the i's 660cc, 3B20T engine with the 999cc, 3B21 - same engine on the outside except for the addition of the 3B20T's turbo unit. The induction air plumbing may be different.

A significant benefit of having an i here is that we will finally have access to original Mitsu engine service information without it being filtered through Daimler/M-B/smart. Maybe even engine service and parts through the Mitsu dealer.

Text:
Mitsubishi mulls gasoline version of wee EV
Lindsay Chappell
Automotive News
November 23, 2009 - 12:01 am ET

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- Mitsubishi, which already plans to import its i-MiEV electric minicar, is considering giving U.S. dealers a gasoline version of the little car.

The four-passenger car would compete against the Smart minicar. The Smart is imported from Europe, where Daimler AG builds it using a Mitsubishi engine.

The gasoline-powered Mitsubishi i already sells in Japan and Europe with a small turbocharged 660cc gasoline engine -- a powerplant smaller than those in many American motorcycles.

The gasoline engine probably would be replaced with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine without turbocharging for the United States, says John Koenig, executive vice president for operations at Mitsubishi Motors North America.

The Smart has the same 1.0-liter Mitsubishi engine.

The i is just 133.7 inches long --about 2 feet longer than the Smart ForTwo -- and 5 feet 3 inches high. The i is surprisingly roomy, even for adults in the back seat.

Koenig estimates that a sales plan of 1,000 cars a month probably would be enough to sway Mitsubishi to re-engineer the minicar for U.S. customers. The expense of creating a left-hand-drive version of the i already has been covered for its introduction into Europe, where it sells for about $16,000.

Mitsubishi showed both the gasoline and electric versions of the car to journalists here last week.

The automaker will introduce its global electric car, the i-MiEV, to U.S. dealers in approximately 18 months.

You can reach Lindsay Chappell at [email protected].
 

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Wouldn't a gas i-miev be a forfour?

I recall reading that the i-miev was built around a smart forfour running gear/chassis?
So replacing the electric drive system with a 1ltr gas engine would make it a rebadged forfour?
 

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I have driven the i car for a day here in Britain, my mum was looking at buying one and we were given one for a day, it has the 660cc turbo engine mated to a proper auto box, not the semi manual employed in the smart.
The car is fantastic, the room inside is unbelieveable, it is a mini TARDIS, (bigger on the inside), the acceleration is adequate, not hugely fast, but acceptable, and the auto box smooth, I loved it and tried to persuade my mum to have it, but being 72 at the time, she did'nt like the engine note, which was sporty and slightly noisey, so decided to not get it.
Here is a link to a review of the I car with a nice piccy.
El


Mitsubishi i | New Reviews | Car Reviews | Auto Express
 

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Fifth Gear actually tested the i against the smart a while ago. They successfully proved that it fares better in a Moose Test than two smarts stacked on top of each other

 

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Discussion Starter #9
So replacing the electric drive system with a 1ltr gas engine would make it a rebadged forfour?
The i also has a rear engine layout like the fortwo and unlike the previous forfour/Colt which were front engine, front wheel drive in typical econobox style ala the Renault that is being touted as a possible next gen forfour.

C'mon smart, if you're not going to roll your own forfour, at least give us the spirit of the fortwo incarnated in a four door Mitsu i. :)
 

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i think that guy with the stacked smarts should have done a bit more work, remove the drivetrain, wheels, steering gear, etc... that probably would take 6-700 pounds off the car.:smartje.wt.zw:
 
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