After a two-year hiatus, the Los Angeles Auto Show, now rebranded as AutoMobility LA, returned to the LA Convention Center “celebrating Los Angeles unique transportation style and culture,” said Lisa Kaz, show owner and chief executive.
“This is the only time people can see a three-wheeled EV vehicle, an electric flying car, concept customized exotics, pet adoptions, and even a life-size version of the Barbie Extra Car all in one location.”
While strolling the huge Convention Center, I always look for the unique and unusual. I thought those fabulous and classic Porsches and the “Bathtub” show car in the Galpin Ford hall were as good as it gets — until a real show stopper stopped me in my tracks.
This car was no child’s toy, nor was it designed for Barbie’s boyfriend Ken.
As you entered the convention center’s West Atrium plaza, there is was, in all of its glittering hot-pink glory, this full-sized electric version of the Barbie Extra Car, built on the platform of the Fiat 500e with its 111-horsepower electric motor delivering 100 miles of range and 147 pound-feet of torque.
The car is an adult-size and operating replica of the toy version sold exclusively at Walmart for $30. The “Extra” in the name traces to the accessories that come with the toy version.
The car was done by Mattel’s Hot Wheels design team using CAD files from the toy version. A foam version was cut on a 5-axis router and was then hand-tooled so molds could be made for the coachwork, which includes wing-shaped doors and star-shaped headlamps in gold.
The car rides on 22-inch rear and 20-inch front wheels which were 3D printed and then painted pink and rainbow hued.
The interior of the convertible is smothered in pink with furry headrests.
I’m told the Barbie Extra Car is a prototype and it is possible that such a vehicle could be made available to fans and collectors should there be enough response.