Mitsubishi has confirmed that its cute "i" minicar will go on sale in the UK in July. The rear-mid-engined, four-seater “i” has already achieved cult status in Japan with its original styling, agile handling and clever use of interior space.
Around 37,000 were sold in Japan last year but just one high-spec version of the “i” will be coming over here. Standard equipment will include auto transmission, climate control, a six-speaker stereo with CD player, front and rear electric windows and electrically operated and folding door mirrors.
Similar to the long-in-the-tooth Smart Fortwo, the “i” is powered by an all-alloy, 660cc three-cylinder petrol engine that combines a turbocharger and intercooler with MIVEC variable valve timing. The engine delivers 64bhp, and the “i” can accelerate to 50mph in a leisurely 11.2 seconds. Apparently it can hit 90mph on a downward slope and a following wind.
You even get ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution as standard, ISOFIX child seat mounting points and energy-absorbing wiper pivot under the bonnet that reduces the risk of injury to a pedestrian in the event of a nasty, erm, pavement incursion.
Tiny on the outside (it’s a massive 15cm narrower than a tint Peugeot 107), on the inside head room is decent and there’s a surprising amount of storage space.
Cute and practical? Let’s wait and see, eh?