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Motor Show: Mitsubishi i

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Appearing for the first time in Tokyo, Mitsubishi's i city car slots in the range below the Colt supermini and goes on sale in Japan shortly.

The i - developed from the Smart Fortwo before Mitsubishi's relationship with DaimlerChrysler broke down - is powered by a three-cylinder 600cc intercooled and turbocharged engine that develops an impressive 64bhp. This is located behind the front seats and toward the rear of the car, giving the i its snub-nosed, cab-forward appearance. Mitsubishi also claims that the design also makes the i better able to accommodate crumple zones, which makes for good crashworthiness.

The i meets the criteria for Japan's kei class, a tax-break category of small car, and there are no plans to bring it to Europe. However, the original concept was unveiled - to some acclaim - at the Frankfurt Motor Show, so it's not impossible that Mitsubishi might aim to steal a few Smart customers over here. Revenge from a dumped partner...
 
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