We're seeing some pretty futuristic cars here at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but none more so than the Peugeot BB1. According to its maker, it's a totally original response to the current and future needs of urban mobility, and one of those needs is drive-anywhere Internet access.
If you look past the uber-beautiful models casually sitting inside the BB1 (it won't actually come with these), you'll see an iPod dock carved into the steering wheel. This connects your music collection to the BB1's entertainment system, and also feeds data to a centrally-mounted display, on which you can fiddle with the radio, navigation options and Internet. Yes, you read that correctly -- the Internet. The World Wide Web. The Jesus tubes, people.
We've yet to test it for ourselves (it's only in the concept phase) but, from what we can ascertain, the data connection is achieved by tethering your iPhone to the dock. Once tethered, the BB1 has the ability to access the Web at broadband speeds, and uses an unspecified on-board computer to handle processing, while any data is shown on the dashboard display.
Peugeot says the BB1 is built on values of 'liberty, optimism and altruism', which basically means it's electric and won't pollute the environment. Two li-ion batteries are fitted, as are two 7.5kW (20hp) Michelin wheel motors, mounted inside each rear wheel. According to a man at Peugeot, the BB1 will have a range of around 120km and go from 0-30kmph in a relatively respectable 2.8 seconds. It will apparently hit a top speed of 90kmph.
We've no idea when it will go to market, but we definitely want one. Imagine being able to tweet the AA when you've broken down, or enjoying a spot of YouTube when you're stuck in traffic. This, kiddies, is the future. Check out our gallery for more pictures and details, and come back later for more car tech coverage from the Frankfurt Motor Show.
No, that's not the front -- Peugeot has just put the doors on back-to-front. Apparently, that's the latest trend in the door-fitting community.
The BB1 looks like the futuristic offspring of a Smart car and a moth. We're totally into those alloy wheels (two of which conceal electric motors) and the tubular rear lights.
The steering wheel looks like it came off a quad bike, which could make handling a little tricky, particularly with text messages popping up your iPhone.
Here's the iPod dock and quad-bike-style steering wheel in more detail. That little LCD to the left is an electronic substitute for a rear-view mirror. That's grand pimpery right there.
The display mounted in the centre of the dashboard lets you view your speed, navigation options, and -- if Peugeot gets its way -- the Internet. Data is most likely to come via a tethered iPhone 3GS, docked to the steering wheel.
Here's the other digital wing mirror, and a man with the biggest bumbag we've ever seen.
Flexible solar panels adorn the roof. These power a pre-ventilation system that cools the interior before the engine is started -- just like in the new Toyota Prius.
Muriel didn't seem to mind the BB1 breaking wind in her hair.
The interior is rather cramped, but at least you can use the rear passengers' knees as armrests.
Cyclists will run rings around the BB1, but you'll have the satisfaction of being able to run them over, the smug, pavement-trespassing gits.