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Sometimes Goofy Looks Cute- Peugeot BB1

November 2, 2009

Attracting Stares And Scares On Peugeot’s BB1 Grand Tour

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Halloween may be over, but fright night has just begun in five European countries that are due for visits from the ghastly Peugeot BB1 electric concept.

After it’s September debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Peugeot took the eight foot long, four-seater concept on the road. The car just finished an whirlwind appearance in Paris where it attracted more stares than Grace Jones, and now is headed on a grand tour of Europe from Covent Garden to Milan. The tour begins at Berlin’s Sony Center, and continues to what Peugeot says are five other “places that will draw crowds.”

As much as it haunts our nightmares, we can’t fault Peugeot for an intentionally avant garde design that’s meant to draw attention to the future of electric cars. The car is a natural conversation starter, with its scooter-like steering mechanism, side-view cameras and an outward appearance that suggests a Smart fortwo that’s seen a few minutes in the microwave.

 

It appears that Peugeot’s strategy is working. The company claims that 15,000 Facebook users are fans of the BB1, and in a short film at the concept’s website, Peugeot focuses more on the reactions of Parisians to the car’s presence than the automobile itself. A child, either mesmerized or horrified, appears transfixed by the car as he stares at it through a window. Grown-ups marvel at the steering and throttle controls that are integrated on a single yoke-like mechanism, not to mention the integrated smartphone control and rear-hinged doors.

Still, with all the technical wizardry, most of the public seems interested in the electric drivetrain. Powered by in-wheel electric motors in the back wheels, Peugeot says the BB1 has a top speed of 56 mph and a range of 75 miles — hardly Tesla material, but adequate for a microcar designed for use in congested cities.

It’s at least an improvement on the original Peugeot VLV electric microcar from 1942, which the company says was the inspiration for the BB1, that could only reach a top speed of 20 mph with a range of 50 miles.i-bb1_0909ds050i-bb1_0909ds018

 

Photos: Peugeot

Original post- wired

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