Autocar’s timing gear pretty well doubled the complexity of the i-MiEV Evolution’s functional cockpit. There’s a racing bucket seat, a fire extinguisher, two pedals, a handbrake and a steering wheel. And besides an instrument binnacle from a production i-MiEV, there’s little else.

Getting in is one of those processes that spry Japanese men make look deceptively easy, like eating a whole steak and rice pudding with chopsticks. For the heroically proportioned, it’s tricky. A step helps. As does a five-man support crew.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Chief tester
The cabin’s a strangely relaxing place, once you’re over the trauma of getting in

There is no door, but you can pick either side to start from, before lowering a leg on to the seat, bracing yourself against the spaceframe, hitching the other leg over and then threading your torso sideways and down.

The detachable steering wheel makes this a little easier, but only in as much as The Times crossword is made easier by possession of a pen. Once in, you realise how low the solitary seat is, and how high the scuttle (which doubles as a spoiler to compensate for the lack of windscreen). Barring the highest extremities of the front wheel arches, you can’t see any point of the front of the car.

Legroom is modest – particularly for a 6ft 4in tester. Padded knee rests are provided to keep you comfy when pulling high lateral forces through corners. 

Want a boot? Of course you don’t. You’ll be more grateful for MMC’s traditional hand-painted Japanese luck charm dangling behind the driver’s seat.

The ignition is engaged via an old-fashioned key and starter button, the Mitsubishi's transmission via a rotary knob.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Top 5 Track cars

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Seat Arona 1.5 TSI EVO FR
    First Drive
    17 January 2018
    Seat is on a roll with the Ateca and Ibiza; can they score a hat trick with the new Arona?
  • Jaguar E-Pace D240
    First Drive
    17 January 2018
    With much riding on the success of the Jaguar E-Pace, we have been impressed with the mid-level diesel version, but now its time for the most powerful oilburner to go under the spotlight
  • Vauxhall VXR8 GTS-R
    Car review
    12 January 2018
    Vauxhall bids farewell to its line of Aussie performance legends in some style with the limited edition VXR8 GTS-R
  • Alfa Romeo Stelvio
    Car review
    12 January 2018
    Alfa Romeo’s first SUV aims to hoist the handling panache of the Giulia saloon
  • Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI
    First Drive
    11 January 2018
    Sixth-generation Volkswagen Polo arrives in the UK with a emphasis on safety and refinement. Could that be enough to see it become supermini king?