Is the Viewt an anime-style Jaguar?Comment on this story
It's well known that a surprisingly large segment of the Japanese population - most of whom are too young to remember the 1960's - are fascinated by the era of Mary Quant, Carnaby street and miniskirts.
And where there's nostalgia, there's a market (ask Willie G Davidson!) so there's a whole variety of products available in downtown Japan that are intended to cash in on this particular form of mass insanity - including the Viewt.
What you see here is actually the third-generation Viewt; belive it or not, this cartoon on wheels has been in production since 1993.
It's built on a Nissan Micra chassis by specialist coachbuilder Mitsuoka.
But we can't figure out whether they really think they can fool the public into thinking that it really does look like a Jaguar MkII that shrunk in the wash, or whether the whole thing is a colossal in-joke at their customers' expense.
We tend to think it may be the latter, particularly as Mitsuoka's publicity material features a suitably skeletal Victoria Beckham clone, complete with ridiculous heels and slit skirt.
THE PRICE IS NOT A JOKE
The Viewt Mk3 is based on the current Micra, which was released in Japan in 2010, and comes with a 57kW, 1.2-litre Nissan petrol engine and a constantly variable transmission driving the front wheels - although all-wheel drive is available as an extra-cost option.
The outside is the same as the previous model, except that it now has the side mirrors from the new Micra, while the interior is basically standard current-Micra issue, jazzed up with leather upholstery and walnut veneer trim in the best Jaguar fashion.
What's not a joke is the price, which ranges from ¥2 050 000 (R215 000) to ¥2 725 000 (R285 000) - for a Micra with fake English coachwork. Or maybe the joke is on the people who buy them at that price.