back to article Peugeot looks to 1940s for quirky e-car design

Following Renault's recent launch of the odd looking Twizy at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Peugeot has stepped in with its own take on ‘eye catching’ electric city cars. Peugeot_BB1_02 Peugeot's BB1 is, well, odd looking Apparently inspired by Peugeot’s electric VLV from the 1940s, the new all-electric BB1 represents the car …


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  1. Paul Parkin

    The question is... those passengers in the back have legs, or are they actually the seats for the driver and front passenger?

  2. Martin 19

    You know a car is rubbish

    when the manufacturer feels the need to provide "0 to 20mph" times.


  3. Anonymous Coward


    Even fuglier than the Renault Twaty. Looks like they out the seats in the wrong way round.

  4. Dale 3


    Er, where are the seats? Judging by the pictures, the people in the front are sitting on the laps of the people in the back. Nice of them to remove the pedal controls though, since you're going to have to cut off your legs to get in. A niche market perhaps?

    I peered inside the Toyota IQ four-seater the other day, and literally the back seats were right up against the front seats which means either your back passengers are sitting cross-legged for the whole journey, or you're going to have to be handy with a sterile chainsaw. Not sure why they didn't just leave out the back seats and call it what it is, a two-seater with limited luggage capacity.

  5. Geoff Mackenzie

    That's not just ugly

    it's backwards. The old one that 'inspired' it is significantly better looking.

  6. Albert
    Thumb Up

    So ugly it's cool

    When I first looked at the pictures I thought it looked ugly, but the more I look the more I like.

    If these are cheap enough then for someone like me who uses his car mainly for driving 40 minutes to and from work it would be ideal. Still have the bigger family car for outings and longer trips but for short journeys where the speed limit is usually 40mph max then these are perfect.

  7. Efros

    Just how

    ugly can you make a car, seems auto designers know no bounds.

  8. TeeCee Gold badge

    Inspired by the VLV?

    How exactly? The VLV doesn't look like a monumentally fugly POS for a start....

  9. Anonymous John

    @ Peugeot has removed the pedals

    Even the brake? That doesn't sound safe. Whatever car you drive, stamping on the brake in an emergency is deeply ingrained in every motorist. A very hard habit to break.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Why does

    It look like they have forgotten to pay their designers ? I could only come up with that sort of fugliness by vengeance against the company that would have not paid me for months.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    It was a munter in the 1940's and it's a munter today

    Roll on the electric horse and buggy clones. More tecno from the 1840''s please.

    Amish tech!

  12. The Original Ash

    0-40mph in 7 seconds

    My moped had better acceleration. And a faster top speed.

    And a further range.

    And was easier to park.

    And could be refuelled easily.

    And cost less to purchase.

    And it would only comfortably take 2 passengers, too. (Those folk in the back are paraplegics, I'm certain).

  13. Graham Bartlett

    If we're going to be traditional...

    ... isn't it traditional for cars to be at least slightly aerodynamic?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Based on the VLV?

    I certainly don't see any resemblance -- none whatsoever.

  15. Steve Evans


    What kind of drugs are they feeding those designers?

    I've seen firemen cutting corpses out of wreckage that look better than that!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    That has to be

    The most horedously ugly vehicle ever concieved. Beter names might include the 'Arse', 'Pugly' or 'Fugly'.

  17. Hermes (nine inch) Conran

    @ Anonymous John

    You obviously have never ridden a motorcycle, The brake reflex is to grab the brake wherever it is. You'd be suprised at how quickly you can adapt to a new vehicle configuration.

  18. Michael Strorm Silver badge

    Bogart might mistake this for a spacecraft, but not a car

    Beyond its size, that car looks virtually nothing like its alleged 40s inspiration. Matter of fact, it doesn't look like remotely like *any* car from the 1940s.

    Interesting, yeah, but not remotely retro, not even in a modernised Mini or Fiat 500 way.

  19. Bernie 2
    Thumb Down

    Perhaps the ugliest car I've ever seen

    Why are e-car manufacturers putting so much effort into making cars look "quirky" as opposed to making them look "good"?

    Okay it's new technology and they've got the chance to make it look a bit futuristic but they seem to be imagining a future where everyone is blind or something.

    And why are none of these cars ever bigger than a golf cart? Oh yeah because e-cars are crap.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Seats

    IQ uses an old trick initially developed by the Daihatsu bit in Toyota group. In fact it is a largely Daihatsu design (same as Aygo is a largely PSV design).

    The back seats are higher than the front and as a result you have a "sit on a chair" style posture in them, not "sprawled in a coach" posture like most cars of American and German origin. Not particularly comfortable for a long journey, but perfectly reasonable for in-town use. So you definitely do not need to reach for a sterile chainsaw. It definitely has more space for the rear passengers than let's say Jeep Cherokee or some other USA vehicles 3 times its size.

  21. Richard 102

    Ugly bugger

    It looks like a Nike sneaker with encephalitis.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    BB1 vs. VLV

    So 67 years down the road and they've managed to make their electric city car monumentally ugly and increased the range by a meagre 25 miles? Truly an achievement worthy of laudation.


  23. Anonymous Coward

    too much District 9

    Car for Prawns...

    I Dont think People bend like that...

  24. jai

    so sloooooow

    i watched the video on facebook last night and it honestly looked like it'd be quicker to walk.

    to heck with global waming, i'll stick with the supercharger in my cooper s thankyouverymuch and future generations be damned

  25. Efros


    If you're in Amish country and you see a guy with his arm up a horse's arse, he's the mechanic!

  26. Wibble

    Love it!

    What a great design. I really like it.

    It's fresh and new and definitely not a clone like so many cars these days.

    And to those who don't like it. Fine. Beauty's definitely in the eye of the beholder.

  27. ilikejam

    Is this a joke?

    That is absolutely and undeniably the worst car design that has ever been thought of.

    I have nothing further to say on this matter.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Why Does It look like they have forgotten to pay their designers ?

    @ AC

    Isn't that a daft question? surely only 'designers' could come up with something llewelyn-Bowen-esq

    Problem is they ARE paying designers.. if you ask me they should asking 'do they blend?'

  29. stizzleswick

    It really looks... car "designers" are trying to out-do each other these days. If this thing were the only car one could buy, I'd buy a bicycle. Cheaper, does not need electricity, and I wouldn't look like a complete idiot for having bought it. And the top speed would be somewhat comparable.

    Backswept windshields and suicide doors... and the rear seats are clearly ridiculous in this thing. If I were Peugeot, I would not only not pay the designers of this... thing, I'd fire them outright and demand damages.

  30. Paul E

    Looks like

    A failed entry in a competition to reconstruct a car from its parts whilst blindfolded.

  31. Andrew Culpeck

    Leccy losers

    So what’s the range and what’s the charge time?

    I have been campaigning for free parking for motor bikes in Westminster since they started their experiment over a year ago see One of the arguments against just providing enough parking for bikes was that there is too much pressure on kerb side space in Westminster, yet both Westminster council and Boris Johnson want to introduce more electric vehicle’s. Both see the political mileage in this and both want to get into the personal vehicle market, no doubt for the money to be made. The electric car is a joke when it comes to recharging though and needs to be recharged at the side of the road to make it viable so you need charge points which is fine until more people change to electric and every car space needs a charge point! The only viable alternative to petrol is a source of power that can use the existing petrol stations.

    There are a lot of alternatives but so far the best idea I have seen is compressed air . Compressed air sounds odd until you realise that a car engine is an internal combustion engine that just compresses the air in the cylinder. This system uses compressed air which can be compressed at the petrol station using electricity; you have to get power from somewhere. Charge times as shown in the video 3 minuets, so time to go and pay for the compressor and electricity, as you would for petrol. The only question is the type of engine. Lastly the compressed air cylinder technology exists but you would need to come up with a standard fill connection.

    Well that’s put the would to rights mines a pint.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    lay off the breakfast wine.

    Looks like cartoon car thats trying to go fast.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No pedals?!

    How do you make it go if it has no pedals to push around with your feet?

  34. Anonymous Coward


    VLV? Vuh-ll-vuh? Well, I guess you'd have men clamouring to get inside it...

    oh, wait- the new one's the BB1. With a "steering yoke". Anyone who's watched Knight Rider know's that's a cumbersome idea. *grumbles about change*

  35. Richard Drinkwater
    Paris Hilton

    Rear seating

    For people wondering how the rear passengers have squeezed their legs in, the answer is that they are straddling the front seats. Pics via the link below. You will also notice they only show the people using lap-belts.

    Paris because of the straddling.

  36. William Clark
    Thumb Down


    Why are they given such free reign these days? - is the car industry trying to kill the electric car by making them undesirable? Why do all these electric cars have to look weird? (with a few notable exceptions of course)

    If I was designing an electric car, I would make it function well first before trying to make it look good. It's a bit like architects coming up with the design then asking the engineers to make it however complex and impractical it is.

  37. CC

    Is there a front?

    I guess this is what you get when a company has money to burn, in fact the thing looks like a rolling trash bin.

    I love the windshied, apply brakes and exit here....

    This is a company that really needs to do more in depth drug testing on their designers.

  38. PerfectBlue

    The Conspiracists were right

    I think that this clinches it once and for all, the auto companies really ARE trying to kill the electric car. There could be no other explanation for making something so truely awful.

  39. Anonymous John

    @ @ Anonymous John

    I haven't but motorbikes are so different from cars that I'd expect switching from one to another to be simple.

    I've driven any number of cars though. Two had different column changes, one with the handbrake by the driver's door, and the other under the dash (both had front bench seats). No problems whatsoever.

    The pedal layout never changes though, And I'd much prefer the brake to be where my right foot expects.k

  40. Anonymous Coward

    0-40mph hour in seven secounds

    what about when it has four people in it? even milk floats are faster then this.

  41. J 3

    Oh, my eyes!

    Why? WHY!?

    Make the damn thing look like a Smart, maybe, or something like that. Anything is better looking than this.

  42. GrantB

    @Andrew Culpeck

    trying compressing air sometime & then letting it escape quickly. The pump heats up very quickly when compressing & the air freezes (forming ice) when uncompressing. Welcome to thermodynamics, (or check out wikipedia article on compress air engines).

    This makes compressed air cars less efficient and more difficult than you might think.

    Batteries + electric motors still have the most potential for a replacement for petrol/diesel ICE motor-vehicles, simply because the huge investment in many industries (a better battery would be huge for transport, laptops, phones, you name it) and they just don't have the same mechanical issues.

  43. spider from mars
    Thumb Up

    why these things look so wierd

    there's a simple reason - these are the kinds of car the designers have always wanted to make! the jump to a new technology has just given them an excuse.

  44. Adam 10

    0-20 in 3 seconds?!

    Any cyclist of moderate fitness can accelerate to 20 in under 3 seconds too...

    I know city speeds seldom reach 30, but a maximum foot-to-the-floor acceleration of 0-40 in 7 seconds is too slow even in a city.

    I have to say, I like the styling though. Looks like a Smart car that's been modified to go in a Judge Dredd film.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Inspired by the 1940s?




    Aha! The doors face backwards and it has four wheels - magnificent.

    But as for all the folks here claiming that it's ugly. Of course it's ugly - it's a French car.

    Whatever elan the French have towards design goes out the window when they're asked to produce a modern car. Have a look at the petrol-powered monstrosities Peugeot are currently turning out with their gaping mouths, silly fiddly detailing and tin-foil construction, then there's the vile Megane with it's stupid stick-out rear end, the anodyne beyond words Picasso and the interchangeably awful pocket Citroens. There haven't been so many ugly cars in production since the dying days of Leyland.

  46. TeeCee Gold badge


    I take it that you posted that while scrabbling round on the floor looking for your contact lenses?

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