It's worth pointing out at this stage that the i car was an independent venture undertaken by Mitsubishi and had nothing to do with Apple, the purveyors of the iPod, iPhone, iBook, iPad and goodness knows what other similarly prefixed products by the time you read this. In fact, it was a mild surprise at the time that the Japanese manufacturer managed to get a product called the i anything to market at all without intervention from Apple's legal team.
The i was a long time in development. The first public glimpse of the car came with the unveiling of the i Concept at the 2003 Frankfurt Motorshow but little attention was paid to the car because its futuristic looks smacked of a designer's flight of fancy that would never see a production line. If anything, the second prototype, dubbed the Se-Ro and unveiled later in 2003, was even weirder Mitsubishi clearly thought there was something in it. Almost three years later, in 2006, the i went on sale in Japan to considerable critical acclaim but it was 2007 before anyone could buy one officially here.
As a four-seat, five-door city car with rear wheel drive and a rear-engined layout, this isn't exactly a conventional citycar. In 2007, the Smart ForTwo was the height of small car quirkiness but the i made that look like a diesel Ford Mondeo with its unorthodox thinking. Pricing always seemed high compared to other city car options and by 2009, the i had disappeared from UK showrooms in its original form. The car did live on however because it formed the basis for Mitsubishi's i-MIEV electric vehicle which was launched in 2009.