At JPY2.1 million (about US$18,300), the car is priced 600,000 yen higher than usual. The promotion celebrates Mitsubishi's advertising relationship with Sanrio and also raises money for Japan's UNICEF, which will get 200,000 yen of the proceeds.
Powered by a 3 cylinder 660cc engine, the Princess Kitty (a Mitsubishi "i") uses just 5.3 liters of gas per 100 km (that's 43.3 mpg US) and emissions are 50% lower than the Japanese 2005 Low-Emission Vehicle requirements. (I can't resist pointing out that my bicycle cost less than 1% of the price of this car, uses no fossil fuel, requires no insurance premiums or license taxes, and doesn't pollute at all).
Between you and me, just seeing this overly cutesy pink blob in my driveway would make my stomach feel quesy. But for you Hello Kitty fans, here's a link to more pictures.
Just click Hello Kitty.
Personally, I'll wait for the black and white "Pandabonium" special edition Mitsubishi Colt EV (an electric car announced for 2010), which will have bamboo patterned seat covers and of course a slide trombone horn.
PS - If you collect guitars, like Moody Minstrel does, Mitsukoshi is offering a one-off Hello Kitty electric guitar made by Fender in the USA for "only" JPY 2.5 million. That's right. It costs more than the car!