A car for women? Cosmopolitan and SEAT under fire for new vehicle

Story highlights

  • Cosmopolitan and car manufacturer SEAT have unveiled a car for women
  • The car's gender stereotyped design features have sparked outrage on Twitter

(CNN)It's small, purple -- and some find it offensive.

Car manufacturer SEAT and lifestyle publication Cosmopolitan are facing backlash over a brand new car for "women" that was jointly unveiled at Cosmopolitan's FashFest event in London on Friday.
    The result of a collaboration between the manufacturer and the magazine, the SEAT Mii comes complete with jewel-effect rims, a handbag hook, and "eyeliner headlights" that are "emphasized in the same way as make-up emphasizes the eye," according to the manufacturer.
    The vehicle's "exclusive design and thoughtful feminine touches" -- which are the culmination of two years of collaborative research and development -- make it perfect for "impromptu karaoke performances, last-minute wardrobe changes, dramatic gossip sessions and emergency lunch-hour kips," according to the duo.
    It also appears to be perfectly suited for satire, with the car's blatantly gender stereotyped design and marketing sparking outrage on Twitter.
    Manufacturer SEAT has responded to the backlash by clarifying the car is intended for the Cosmopolitan reader specifically, rather than the female gender as a whole.
    "Mii by Cosmopolitan is not a car intended entirely for a female audience. It is the result of a two-year-long process of co-creation involving Cosmopolitan readers, editors and the magazine's creative team, aimed at developing a model that responds to a very specific target -- the Cosmo reader -- and in no way to women as a whole. We regret any misunderstandings that may have emerged."
    According to a previous CNN report, the majority of vehicles in the autos industry are still designed by men, but that gender disparity is slowly fading.
    "Good design is good design; it transcends gender and everyone knows it when they see it," Angus MacKenzie of Motor Trend magazine has told CNN previously.