Wednesday, April 11, 2007
The coolest car on the road
It's the coolest car on the road in Europe -- even cooler (and smaller) than the Cooper Mini.
It's the Smart car, made by DaimlerChrysler.
Yes, it's small -- two of them fit into a normal parking space. It gets about 40 mpg, and seats two people (or one person and a pair of skis) comfortably.
I first spotted a Smart on I-275 near Detroit several years ago, and was intensely curious about it. DCX just hasn't seen fit to import it into the United States, although it has a passionate following in Europe.
Katherine fell in love with the Smart
during her trip last year and brought back a little model for Andrew. He thought it was cool, too, and declared he wanted one.
When he got to Germany, he started shooting pictures of them, and is more determined than ever that he wants one.
Now, the Web site Smartusa.com says DCX will begin selling Smarts in the United States in 2008. However, it won't be able to sell them in California -- the three-cylinder engine can't meet California emissions standards.
Now, here's an irony: The Smart is so small and affordable that DCX has been losing about $5,000 per car trying to build the brand. Old truism: Little cars make sense, big cars make money.
Posted by Mark at 11:17 AM