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Innovative Award winning i-car Released

Media Release

Friday, 1 December 2006

Innovative Award winning i-car Released in New Zealand

The smart technology and innovative design that has made the Mitsubishi i-car a huge success in Japan, is now available in New Zealand.

The innovative Mitsubishi i-car has been launched in New Zealand this week after careful assessment of the small car market by Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand (MMNZ).

i-car has doubled its sales targets in Japan,” said MMNZ general manager of sales and marketing Peter Wilkins. “With the recent popularity of small cars, continued uncertainty over fuel prices and increasing environmental awareness we believe the time is right to introduce i-car to New Zealand.

“It’s a brilliant car,” he said. “It has been awarded the prestigious Good Design Grand Prize* by the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and the ‘2006 Car of the Year’ by the Japanese Automotive Researchers and Journalists Conference, in recognition of its innovative design.

“As an around-town commuter, it’s zippy and manoeuvrable and with the wheels set right to the corners of the body parking in tight spots is a breeze. Its fuel consumption and emission levels are excellent, and its advanced keyless operation and high seat position make it very user friendly.”

The futuristically-styled four seat i-car houses a newly-developed rear-mounted engine, which is located just forward of and above the rear axle.

The new, lightweight and compact turbocharged 660cc 3-cylinder MIVEC power plant utilises a recyclable aluminium cylinder block and delivers 48kW at 6,000rpm and 95Nm at 3,000rpm to the 4-speed automatic transmission. Fuel consumption is 5.43L/100km and emissions are as much as 50% below current NZ and international standards.

Despite the compact appearance of the i-car, its 3,395mm overall length, 2,550mm wheelbase and 15” wheels are comparable with the larger compact car category. This long wheelbase, combined with the balance created by the rear-mounted engine, delivers agile handling, excellent ride comfort, and stability.

The position of the engine has allowed engineers to develop an advanced rear and frontal impact protection system complimented by front driver and passenger airbags, and three point seat belts. ABS brakes with electronic brake distribution (EBD) are standard.

i-car is equipped with an advanced keyless operating system that allows the user to open and lock the doors and start the engine without having to take the remote keycard out of their pocket or handbag. As long as the key card is within 70cm of the driver’s door or boot hatch, either can be opened. The doors are re-locked at the push of a button on the door and the driver can start the vehicle with the ignition switch.

The innovative new i-car is available at a recommended retail price of $17,990.


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