Not only is the Ford Start concept car, which debuted at the 2010 Beijing Motor Show, smart looking and petite, it also sports an iPhone-like interface.
Ford showed off its Start concept at the 2010 Beijing Motor Show, a fitting design for a country growing in its thirst for automobiles among a large urban population.
With its smart looks and upmarket features the Start would also do well in Europe, where narrow city roads, high fuel taxes and punitive registration schemes conspire to make tiny cars with small engines an especially attractive proposition.
The Start could also do well in Australia too, where BMW's Mini has prospered as a premium-priced small car with funky retro styling and a high gadget count.
Thin seats not only improve the interior room in the Start, but also add a sporty flair.
Taking pride of place in the centre of the dashboard is a large LCD screen featuring application icons similar to those on an iPhone.
The Start lacks traditional headlights, instead using a row of LEDs. These have been a typical concept car trait for a while now and are slowly making their way into production cars.
It's a similar story at the back, where a set of thin LED tail-lights live.
Should Ford ever sell the Start it will be aimed at urban drivers, where its small size should make fighting through traffic and squeezing into tight parking spots a breeze.
The most realistic feature of the Start Concept is the EcoBoost-branded turbocharged three-cylinder 1-litre engine. This engine will be placed in many a European Ford soon.
Ford claims that the Start's tiny 1-litre engine delivers the power of a larger, heavier four-cylinder engine while emitting less than 100g of CO2 per kilometre. The company, however, stopped short of giving us exact power and fuel economy figures.
The concept car comes fitted with a five-speed manual transmission.
To keep weight down the Start has a hybrid aluminium and steel body. Aluminium bodies are usually reserved for large luxury cars or exotic sports cars where the costs of the lightweight but expensive metal are more easily recouped.
As part of its Weight Watchers diet, the Start's exterior body panels are made from deformable, recyclable and pre-coloured plastic composites.
The roof can be detached, exchanged and refitted by drivers, allowing for endless customising possibilities. You could even, presumably, have flag roofs, a la the Mini.