I have a bunch of old videogame consoles at my house: old Ataris, an Odyssey 2, a Bally Astrocade, a Vectrex, Virtual Boy, and so on. Less old but still old-ish is a Wii in the mix there, and my kid likes to play on all of these. This morning, he was playing a game on the Wii that involved driving a car. I saw it, and for the first time since first playing this thing over a decade ago, I think I know what car inspired the one in the game. I know because I own that car now.
The game is from 2006, a fun and goofy Nintendo game called WarioWare Smooth Moves. One of the minigames involves driving a car, and this is what it looks like:
See that dashboard? Back in 2006 or whenever it just seemed like some kind of cute and odd composite car the designers came up with. Now, I realize it looks far more familiar:
While it’s not exact, I’m pretty sure the inspiration for this dashboard came from a Nissan Pao. The big white-faced speedo in its little pod, the squarish vents, the flat windshield, that color, the steering wheel color and design (yes, I know mine is turned upside-down in that shot) the horn icon, everything.
This had to be Pao-inspired.
Of course, on the U.S. release my kid was playing, it was flipped like this:
...but same idea.
Anyway, if anyone out there has been agonizing over this for the past decade or so, I hope this brings you peace.