The goal was to quickly survey the supremely wonderful oddness of the French domestic car universe. We found so much at our first stop that we never made it off the Citroën stand, actually. What follows is a look at a few of the strangest features, all unusual but also eminently practical, in the grand Gallic tradition – a fun, geeky highlight of one of the best stops on the auto show circuit.

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The Citroën C4 Picasso’s window shade is more than meets the eye

This mini-MPV is part of a uniquely European take on the tiny people-mover, a genre of vehicle only a few automakers have rolled the dice on for Americans. (Remember the comically mis-proportioned Nissan Stanza Wagon?) The new C4 Picasso’s most distinguishing characteristic is the fantastic greenhouse, with incredible sightlines and a huge windshield. The effect of a bright sunny day on this cabin must be frightening, we thought as we sat inside at the Citroën stand. The solution is the most interesting sunshade we’ve ever seen.