One with the machine. The new BMW M4 Coupé.

The strength of the BMW M4 Coupé is evident in every detail.

Is the Viewt an anime-style Jaguar?

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IOL mot pic may28 Viewt 1

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Mitsuoka publicity material features a suitably skeletal Victoria Beckham clone, complete with ridiculous heels and slit skirt.

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.

IOL mot pic may28 Viewt 3

Interior is basically standard current-Micra issue, jazzed up with leather upholstery and walnut veneer trim.

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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.

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