Topless Nymph. Not For You.

With all the focus on small footprint cars these days, you’d think smart brands like Nissan would send us all their candy.

The
"us" I am referring to would be, of course, the middle-aged lotharios
that long for their youth. And few cars say "younger than
you should be" than the Nissan Micra—arguably the cutest little button
of a car ever made.

But we’ll never see it here. Too small. Too
tiny. Too darn cute — unlike the Germanic grocery cart called the Smart
(which I hear is not selling well).

Having lived for a spell in
Japan myself, however, I think there is something else at play. Older Japanese men (in particular) are obssesed with youth — more in a pulpish than a
papal sense, but an obsession nonethelss.

In fact, the line
between the automotive and the anthropological in Japan is frequently blurred. Salarymen read catalog-sized comics filled
with pictures of doe-eyed characters that are overly-defined. Pop "artists" like Takashi Murakami craft nyphmetic sculptures nasty
enough to make Jeff Koons blush.

And such is life.

Which
is why Nissan can introduce a new, topless
version of the Micra this year without furthering the fantasies
of people who really don’t belong in its seats. The
effect might be totally different if rides like this were released into the puritanical yet
pornographic pop culure we endure over here.

They may not be selling us
this car to save us from ourselves.

Now go have a sucker.