Tucked away on the Paris auto show floor was the Orange Speed'R concept, built by students at designer Franco Sbarro's ESPERA design school for France Telecom's Orange mobile phone service. Anyone else hungry for pizza and Sunkist?
Meanwhile, in the "Dystopian Vision" hall at the Paris Motor Show, there's the Ligier VIPA, a driver-free electric vehicle with room for six passengers that's as cute as a puppy with encephalitis. Eric Schmidt, your car has arrived!
We were starting to get worried that an auto show in France was lacking in Gallic oddities. Then Citroën showed off the Lacoste, a compact concept with an inflatable roof, no doors and a power lowering windshield. Bon dieu!
The Lotus Elite is the new Lotus gentleman's car, offering a trick retractable hardtop with up to 600 hp thanks to a KERS-inspired hybrid boost system and, probably, the new "Lotus" V8. They say it's full of wonderful contradictions.
Mini will return to the World Rally Championship next year with this kitted-up Mini Cooper Countryman S, powered by a 1.6-liter DI fourbanger gently massaged by BMW. Expect regular Mini drivers to begin dressing as Paddy Hopkirk for Halloween.