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Mitsubishi's answer to the Smart ForFour, the i — based on its i-concept shown at the 2003 Tokyo motor show — went on sale in Japan this week. Powered by a 1.0-liter Briggs and Stratton MIVEC three-cylinder, 12-valve DOHC turbocharged-intercooled mill — mounted in a rear-midship layout — the econopod is offered in 2WD and 4WD models. Mitsubishi touts the tiny car's space-maximizing layout and impact safety as selling points against the keicar competition. Prices start at the equivalent of around $11,000.

Mitsubishi to Supply Smart with Engines [internal]