Mitsubishi has released the first image of the American-spec i-MiEV, set to premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month.

The Japanese brand confirmed November 8 that the redesigned vehicle will debut at the show's first press day on November 17, when it will be displayed alongside other high-profile electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt.

Unlike its competitors, the i-MiEV isn't expected to hit US showrooms until Fall 2011, although the Japanese model is already on sale and the European version will be available from the end of this year.

Mitsubishi confirmed predictions that the model will be enlarged, saying that the North American version features "plenty of space for four adults and better meets the expectations of US consumers."

Other additions include new front and rear bumpers, airbags that detect passengers and control deployment force, tire pressure monitoring systems and active stability control which come as standard.

The company's figures suggest that the North American version will be some 28.5 cm longer, 11 cm wider and 0.5 cm higher than its Japanese equivalent.

Although the Los Angeles Auto Show traditionally focuses on green motoring, this year the theme is expected to be even more pronounced as electric cars will hit the US market within weeks of the show's opening.

Nissan, Chevrolet, Coda, Mitsubishi and Toyota are all expected to have EVs on display at the event, which is open to the public November 19 - 28.

Search for used cars