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Puma-style Mini (left-front view)
Ferrari and Fila have lately presented a plimsoll, now Puma strikes back and brings out a vehicle to rival the Italian sports cars. Just kidding! The car above is doubtlessly a Mini and the dynamic stripes and the jumping cat at the rear fender indicate what's inside the vehicle. The interior trim of this Mini model reflects the German sportswear maker's longstanding know-how. All parts that touch the driver's and passengers' bodies are made from materials which Puma normally uses in shoe or cloth manufacturing.

But, unfortunately, the Puma Mini won't come on sale. It's just made to be an attention getter for a new product which both companies have created in close collaboration: A driver's shoe specially designed for the Mini driving experience. Gettable in grey and charcoal black, the so called Mini Motion shoe is going to be available in limited quantity and at a time period of two weeks only. The respective Mini concept car will be displayed in front of the Puma stores in Frankfurt, Milan and London. A further automobile of this kind will be doing its round in the USA, and attract attentions in New York, San Francisco, Santa Monica and Santa Barbara certainly. The European one is going to be exhibited at the Mini Heritage Centre in Oxford, after carrying out its representation duties.

Joint ventures of this sort are mainly profitable marketing gags. Neither Mini does need Puma to make a functional interior trim, nor does Puma have to fall back on any carmaker's know-how to create a shoe, for what purpose ever. Such co-operations are basically intended to enhance a brand's public image and, to make money. The shoes' price of 150 euros turns out that it is a nice deal and Mini will catch people's eyes by means of this concept car, with a fair degree of certainty. However, how pleasant a cross of car and plimsoll can be, is shown impressively by this Mini. The typical Puma formstrip looks absolutely stunning and gives the car an even more dynamic appearance than the Cooper model's classic two-tone design does.

The nice look of the little one and its purpose makes us inevitably recalling an occurrence which has happened a few years ago in Germany. In the early 1990's, as Volkswagen placed an advertisement that showed a Polo with body panels each painted in one out of four different colours to present the available non-metallic-colour range, the demand on this car was extremely huge. But the ad's Polo was only a photo composition. At first, many dealers took chance on selling more cars and created their own models in this style. Shortly after VW also brought out these coloured Polos because the phones didn't stop ringing at Wolfsburg. The original models bear the name Harlekin which is, you guess, the German word for harlequin. In matters of the nice Puma Mini we want this story to repeat. The Americans gave the car the nickname 'clown car' as they saw it at motor shows in the USA for the first time. Now, they love the little one as much as the Europeans. Finally ideal preconditions to let another Harlekin story begin.

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