QotW: What car would Barbie drive if she went “JDM”?

Ads for Barbie‘s live-action film are everywhere, and her 1956 Corvette seemingly plays a significant part. It makes sense, as the movie has massive GM product placement (the Blazer, Hummer EV, and Suburban also feature heavily). But for her next ride, what if she were to venture down the hall at Mattel to the Hot Wheels design area, where JDM cars are all the rage?

What car would Barbie drive if she went “JDM”?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What should the next-gen Nissan Skyline really be?“.

One thing’s for sure. No one likes the idea of a Skyline SUV. Responses to the rumor of the Skyline’s crossover-fication were universally negative. Brett would rather the name be retired than sullied as a boring mall crawler. Alan‘s suggestion was as pointed as it was succinct.

Ideas offered included Taylor C.‘s plea for its continuation as an FR sedan, JJ‘s recommendation of a hybrid that ranges from lowly sedan to NSX-killing GT-R, and we think Greyfox is onto something with a Hakosuka-inspired retro EV like the Hyundai N Vision 74. Ultimately the winner this week was Dankan, whose built an excellent case for a statement-making vehicle steeped in design:

The Skyline is one of the oldest, and most prestigious names in the Japanese auto industry, and Nissan needs to show some respect and appreciation for that if it is to give it the future it deserves. Yes, it’s not exactly a “true” Nissan since they got it via Prince, but other than Fairlady, and maybe Bluebird, Nissan hasn’t got a single name with equivalent recognition, and has nothing remotely upscale at this point. Even the Japanese Nissan website pointedly gives this away with the fact that everything except the GT-R and Fairlady are utterly mundane grocery getters, with the Skyline sitting in a lonely “sedan” category at the bottom of the page.

There is no point turning it into a lame crossover “coupe”, as really they already have the Ariya doing that. I mean, it’s not like it has a practical rear roofline. If you are going to actually do a premium electric car, then it makes no sense not go low, swoopy, and treat it as much of a design statement as an object of transportation. Nissan was in this market before Tesla, but squandered the early advantage of the Leaf by failing to update it to reflect the market’s changes, and now it’s a totally forgotten also-ran. If Nissan want to have a successful future, they need people talking about it. And people aren’t going to talk about another electric crossover when they are literally a dime a dozen. No one will care.

Reach deep into the Nissan styling department’s bag of tricks, start working from the IMs concenpt, and do the same kind of thing that the Porsche Taycan and Cadillac Celestiq do, but for half that price. It doesn’t have to be affordable, but it does have to be accessible enough that someone who wants style over practicality, but isn’t part of the 1% can buy it, and drive it. Do the styling right and every single car you sell is its own moving advertisement changing the narrative on Nissan. It even has the perfect name for that. Skyline is swoopy, upbeat, and unique. You can’t just buy something that rolls off the tongue that easily.

Or don’t be brave. Go the safe route everyone else is going down, and continue to let the Nissan name be linked to Altimas, trashy people, and bad decisions. Because a crossover Skyline that looks like everyone else’s crossover isn’t going to change anyone’s mind.

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17 Responses to QotW: What car would Barbie drive if she went “JDM”?

  1. Lakdasa says:

    Datsun Sports 1200 (Fairlady SPL212/3) in Pink and White contrast. or a Datsun Sports S211 with the fiber bodywork. Exclusivity check, Open top check.

  2. Fred Langille says:

    Easy … a Nissan Figaro! It already is in the sort of colors expected for her as per the seasons so, it isn’t much of a stretch to imagine a Barbie Pink Figaro with the signature white interior. Also, the roll back top makes it easier for her to play, Ken? Hmmmm … that’s why this car is good for Barbie-land … he could have the Summer Blue version so they’d match! I’d better stop before a need an insulin shot.

  3. CycoPablo says:

    I may be a little outa touch with Barbie, and even up-to-the-minute auto trends, but I believe the Lexus LC500 has the hallmarks of a modern classic.
    In the right colour, it would suit Barbie:

  4. dankan says:

    A very pink, VIP Lexus SC430. It even already looks like from a children’s toybox rather than a real car…

  5. Taylor C. says:

    I think Barbie would fit nicely in a Lexus SC430, top down and all. Definitely a pretentious car with the status, love-it-or-hate-it front end, and name plate.

    If this was care-free Barbie, then maybe a del Sol Si, no VTEC model, no base model.

    But then again, I have not seen the movie, only the commercials from yesteryears.

  6. Jeremy A. says:

    A pink Mk 3 Supra with the targa top. I remember in the 80s, Barbie’s car was a C4 Corvette with the targa top, so the JDM version of that would be the Mk 3 Supra. Plus, pop up and down headlights.

  7. Dove says:

    Pink Honda Del Sol

  8. Ian G. says:

    MKI MR2 SC. With the t-tops and in hot pink. Barbie can rock a mid-engine. Plus she has been driving for decades so I know she can handle it. Her Corvette in the movie is a 4 seater. Barbie deserves a true roadster.
    Hon mention would be a Celica convertible w/the pop-up headlghts. But only if she needs back seats.

  9. GeorgeL says:

    I do agree with the pink Nissan Figaro, but my first thought was a pink Honda Beat.

  10. Richard says:

    Figaro of cause! Even though Ken was at the wheel in this funny clip https://www.facebook.com/Darknesss.in/videos/820770932920041/

  11. Lee L says:

    I see Barbie cruising in a pink Toyota 2000 GT convertible.

  12. Tom A. says:

    A pink S15 Silvia Varietta

  13. Jonathan P. says:

    It may not be her daily, but I can see her in a Pepto-Bismol pink Toyota Hiace Camper van.

  14. Chet Manley says:

    So Barbie has driven a Honda Pilot ATV, a Miata, an Isuzu Rodeo, and a Lexus RX300 over the years. Sans the RX300, those are all great options but I think the biggest missed opportunity was in 1985 she had a random Rolls convertible as her car [insert poop emoji].

    That would have been a great time to give her a Straman CRX convertible, a Mitsubishi Starion, or Isuzu Impulse, those are perfect Barbie cars. Maybe make the Impulse or Starion be an imaginary convertible, since they already made a C1 vette 2+2.

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