The tradition for  Autocar road tests like this to end with a five-star verdict. This one doesn’t – because there is still room for ‘evolution’ in this i-MiEV.

It didn’t win the event it was designed for. But next year, with a more practised driver and a few mechanical updates, it could. We’d love to see it happen and are withholding the last half star as a motivator.

Matt Saunders

Chief tester
A proper zero-emissions rocketship, and father of the next Lancer Evo. Mind-bending

Even if it does become a winner, though, the i-MiEV’s real legacy could be bigger still. The official line is that this car is an accelerated testbed for the components you’ll find in the current i-MiEV and in Mitsubishi’s new breed of plug-in hybrids.

What MMC is not saying is that the next Lancer Evo is highly likely to be a plug-in hybrid and equally likely to benefit directly from work done on the i-MiEV Evolution.

This isn’t just a race car, then; it’s cause for hope that Mitsubishi’s rally-bred performance saloon icon can have a sustainable – and seriously fast and exciting – future.

So there you have it, Evo fans: be careful what you eat for breakfast.

Top 5 Track cars

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    Elemental RP1 costs from £75,750

    Elemental RP1

    1
  • BAC Mono
    The driving experience offered by the BAC Mono has an impossibly strong whiff of F1 about it

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    2
  • Radical RXC500
    Radical’s update of its road car delivers the power previously missing. A Nurburgring record-holder in waiting

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    3
  • KTM X-Bow
    The KTM X-Bow has a carbonfibre tub that's mostly exposed and is in many ways it's similar to the skeletal Ariel Atom

    KTM X-Bow

    4
  • Vuhl 05
    Vuhl 05 has a price tag of £59,995

    Vuhl 05

    5

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