Mitsubishi first came up with the 'i,' its idiosyncratic rear-midship 660-cc minicar, back at the 2003 Frankfurt auto show. This is the follow-up production car, and it has a prettier nose and an on-sale date in Japan of January 2006. Just 134 inches long, the 'i' still manages to seat four, and with its tiny, 63-hp three-cylinder turbo engine at the back, Mitsubishi claims excellent pedestrian safety--making this one to avoid if you're in the habit of mowing down jaywalkers. A 1.0-liter version for Europe is also possible, but fuel prices will have to rise a lot more before a vehicle like this would play in the United States.
Although designed while Mitsubishi was partnered with DaimlerChrysler (whose Smart ForTwo city car also has a rear-midship-mounted three cylinder) Mitsubishi says the 'i' is its own work.