Martin Motors, the European importer of the Bubble, decided to show the car at Bologna - in the parking lot - despite a court order prohibiting its attendance. The import company argues that the 68hp 1.1L Bubble is substantially different from the Smart ForTwo: the Smart is rear-engine, rear-wheel drive; the Bubble is front-engine, front-wheel drive. The Bubble has four seats, the ForTwo has only two.

Although there are a number of differences between Daimler’s Smart ForTwo and Shuanghuan’s Bubble, the German automaker is suing Shuanghuan for infringement of its intellectual property, reports Automotive News. Daimler won an injunction to keep the car from being shown at Bologna while the case is being decided. Daimler’s argument is that the Bubble may not be identical internally, but it is a look-alike of the Smart, and should therefore be banned from sale in Europe.

Despite the mechanical differences, from the outside there is a definite look of the Smart (pictured below for comparison) in the Bubble’s profile and details, especially near the rear end. If Martin Motors and the Chinese minicar win the right to distribute in Europe, the Bubble will be on sale by the end of the year in Italy and Romania for around €10,000.