By on October 9, 2010

Having survived my first immersion, it’s clearer than ever to me why TTAC doesn’t “do” auto shows in the usual manner. The relentless PR pressure and hype is tedious. And in some cases, it borders on the absurd or desperate, like the Isuzu pole dancers. True, without her rubbing her oversize derriere to the booming beat on the pole installed in the back of a pickup, it’s doubtful that Isuzu would have had any attention whatsoever. Like the Honda and Mitsubishi stands, for instance, which were deserted. But there were pockets of interest, genuine and contrived.

As previously pointed out, if you didn’t bring an EV to Paris, you were nobody. But an electric sno-cat?

Speaking of EVs, here are the rather fanciful “controls” for Toyota’s EV Concept. I think I recognize a cup holder, but the rest looks rather mysterious.

If you’ve had kids, you can imagine what this Bentley GT convertible kiddie seat will look like after five minutes with an occupant that’s been given a juice box and a cracker.

This interior doesn’t exactly invite trips to the drive-through either.

I like tall boxy vehicle more than the average person, but this “self-driving transporter of the future” takes it a bit too far.

I discovered a whole hall dedicated to “micro-cars”, which are quite popular in France and certain other EU countries where drastically reduced taxes, license requirements and operating costs are in effect. European kei-cars, in other words. Here’s a real mini, and cute as a button.

The Ligiers are quite common on the streets of Paris. Their two-cylinder diesel engines source from Yammar makes them a convincing modern update on the original Fiat 500, in size, speed and sound.

This little micro-sports car was so small, I just had to put myself next to it for perspective. No, I didn’t even try to get into it.

The Austin Healey Bug-eye Sprite was also emulated, this time with a mid-engined 600cc twin-cylinder mill. Probably just as fast as the original.

The Citroen Mehari has its clones as well.

Speaking of kei-cars, here’s an authentic one from the sixties, a coupe version of the Mazda 360.

Micros come as trucks too. Saw a number of these on the streets.  Enough mini cars; how about another sort of mini?

If it wasn’t an EV, it was likely to be draped in green, like every Skoda (and booth babe) on its stand, boldly proclaiming its CO output on sides and hoods.Why wasn’t her CO output tattooed on her thighs?

Enough already! That’s what I said too, after my five hour dash through all the halls; some kind of record, possibly.

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17 Comments on “Paris Auto Show Outtakes: Oddities, Micros and Pole-Dancing Acts of Desperation...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Love to see the pole dancers at the top.  WTF were they thinking?

  • avatar
    AaronH

    Just weak and small-minded those Euros are…Just look at those “cars”.

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    I’d like an oversize derriere to go please.

  • avatar
    Monty

    Paul, were there any “pick-up” style kei trucks? I’m fascinated by them. I’ve now seen a few around town, and last year on our visit to Phoenix, noticed several being used by the Phoenix
    Zoo.

    To me, the Kei vans and trucks are the answer for light urban and suburban tasks (of course, you’re never going to see them on the highway!)

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      I posted a picture of one in the article, with a canopy on the bed. And I did see a number of Japanese kei trucks and vans around Paris too.

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      I don’t know the rules in France but here the maximum speed of a micro car is much lower than the minimum speed a vehicle needs to be able to drive on a highway

    • 0 avatar
      cafe

      The Mairie de Paris is fond of the Piaggio Porter Pick-up, an italian built variant of an old Daihatsu Hi-Jet. There are green ones for the “Propreté de Paris” and white ones for the “Parc & Jardins” branch.
      http://justanotheramericaninparis.blogspot.com/2009/08/vehicles-of-paris-part-15.html
      If you explore her “vehicles” tag, you’ll fing a pic of “Flower Power” Ami 6 wagon and an old Bugatti.

    • 0 avatar
      cafe

      Original Austin Mini + Aixam truck + original FIAT 500 in the streets of Paris.
      http://justanotheramericaninparis.blogspot.com/2009/07/vehicles-of-paris-part-10.html

  • avatar

    The Bug-Eye Sprite looks like it belongs in the movie, Cars. As does the Mazda 360. That thing is awfully cute. Anyway, this was an interesting pictorial, and I am not referring to the sex that was being used to sell cars here. That was more sad.

  • avatar

    speaking of Minis, today I saw an original, driving. It’s probably over 30 years since the last time I saw one in motion.

  • avatar
    shaker

    The last photo caption refers to “CO” where you meant “CO2″.
    Holy schnikes! The butt on that pole dancer – whoa.
    Her generous spandex-covered posterior, combined with a brass fire pole, would make a great science exhibit – a Van De Graaff generator (for adults only).

  • avatar
    Mr. Gray

    Pole-dancers? When a company doesn’t actually have anything good to sell, they resort to gimmicks, flashy imagery, and sexual exploitation. Pitiful.

    That Toyota EV concept interior reminds me of my grandma’s bathroom. Not cool.

  • avatar

    Those Ligiers have a top speed of 45 km/h, about 30 m/h. Really dangerous, on open roads! You really do not expect a car ahead going that slow.
    Pics of an Italian kei truck from the fifties here: http://www.fahrzeugbilder.de/name/einzelbild/number/31183/kategorie/Motorroller~Piaggio~Ape.html
     

  • avatar
    Steven02

    The Toyota EV Concept controls reminds me of something out of a James Bond movie in the 70s.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    The Yanmar diesel in the Ligier is a step up, they used to use air-cooled Lister-Petter diesels, as found in Benford site dumpers. Really rugged, but seriously noisy.


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