Barbie Extra Car is an over-the-top LA Auto Show debut for kids
Naturally, there's a smaller version, too.
Chris PaukertFormer executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015.
Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Auto shows might just be the best way to get a sense of what you might want to park in your driveway next, but they're also excellent family outings, in part because there are always things to catch a child's eye and capture their imagination. At this week's LA Auto Show, there's a good chance one of those things will be the Barbie Extra Car, a full-size two-seat convertible designed to promote Mattel's range of fashion dolls and accessories.
While the Extra Car's over-the-top exterior won't give you many hints as to this roadster's underlying chassis, the dashboard and seats in the cabin just might. This is a Fiat 500e -- Barbie's keeping it eco-friendly, fam. That means the underlying all-electric powertrain is good for 111 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque, and the standard car is good for 100 miles of range.
Watch this: Bodacious Barbie Extra Car sparkles in LA
The more important details for kids will be this car's sparkle-laden silver paint, its wing-shaped doors, star-shaped headlamps, custom rainbow wheels and the obligatory all-over pink interior (complete with furry headrests).
According to a Mattel spokesperson, the company's design team worked directly from the CAD files for the toy car, scaling it up to fit a full-size vehicle. The shape was then cut out of foam by a five-axis router, then the forms were hand-tooled before making molds for the sculpted foam body. Those wheels (22-inch rear, 20-inch front) were 3D printed before being hand painted.
The entire car took two and a half months to create.
Naturally, this full-size Barbie Extra car is a rolling pitch-mobile for a scaled-down toy that kids can bring home. According to Mattel, a $30 toy car equivalent, sold through Walmart, "features space to store a pair of shoes and a trendy top, both included! Place the pet puppy and its adorable swan floatie in the pet pool at the rear of the car, then push to get the story started. With so many bold accents and fun accessories, this Barbie Extra car lets kids bring extra vibes wherever they go!" Uh huh.