Limited Edition City Cars Deploy a Side Stripe Too Far
Back in the1970s and 1980s sticking “go faster” stripes and pointless rally accessories on a standard new car to try and sell a few extra copies was a sin many manufacturers were guilty of.
I most associate this practice with the hapless Yugo hatchbacks sold in the UK during the 1980s. In a deeply misguided attempt to make these shoddy little vehicles seem more desirable the importer customised many of them to within an inch of their lives using almost every frippery the back street accessory shop could boast.
Surely tastes have moved on since then? It seems not, I recently stumbled upon this Italian special edition, the Citroën C1 Sport, which makes even those long-forgotten Yugos look comparatively understated.
The C1 itself is normally a harmless little city car built in the Czech Republic in a joint venture between PSA and Toyota. As well as the Citroën, virtually identical cars from the same factory are sold in Europe as the Peugeot 107 and the Toyota Aygo.
This Italian C1, though, is something else. Available in bright red, dark blue or black, in features white painted wheels, white door mirrors, a white diagonal stripe across the front, white chequered stripes across the doors, and another diagonal white stripe across the rear quarters with the word “Sport” written very large.
The front foglamps are housed in white recesses, there is a white detail on the door handles and the roof has a huge white Citroen logo (presumably so you can spot this eyesore from the sky too). Above the rear window is a tacked on spoiler complete with its own white stripe and Sport logo.
Inside multi-coloured rally-style front seats dominate the tiny cabin, and there are various colour-keyed accessories to on the facia, door trim, gear stick and so on.
Quite why the poor little C1 should have been singled out for such treatment is a bit of a mystery. With its little 68hp 1.0-litre petrol engine or optional 54hp 1.4 diesel it couldn’t possibly fool anyone into thinking it had any sporting pretensions.
What amazes me even more is this device originates from Italy, a country supposedly renowned for stylish cars and general good taste.
A much more restrained version of the C1 Sport has already been offered in the UK in the shape of the Peugeot 107 Sport XS. By comparison this featured a much milder custom job, with bonnet and roof stripes, alloy wheels and twin racing exhausts.
In comparison Toyota, has been much more restrained in the way it has marketed its Aygo (pronounced Eye-go) which is arguably the most stylish of the triplets, featuring a slightly classier rear end treatment.
The Aygo is a new departure for Toyota, slotting in under the Yaris, but the company has concentrated on ever-more luxurious special editions pushing it into the price bracket of its bigger sister.
The latest incarnation of this in the UK is the Aygo Platinum, which has alloy wheels and a dressed-up interior featuring alcantara and leather upholstery.
As the retail market gets tougher and manufacturers vie to make their cars appear better value and more distinctive, these special edition cars are likely to proliferate. You have been warned!
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