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 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.