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 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.


Matthew said...

The Smart is not a grand car. I got to sit in one in Detroit earlier this year, and it's just too small to be practical. As a second car, maybe, but I'd be afraid to strap a car seat into it with the H3 just down the road from my house. I'll admit, the Smart can probably outrun the H3, but if I'm going to have a small, semi-practical car, I'm going to get a Miata or a Solstice. At least they're available as convertibles.

Heavy Chevy for life!

Karen said...

Yeah, I'd rather not become a hood ornament or a stone in the tire of an H3, myself. That's what the Smart would be! I can imagine the driver of a gas-hog-monster-SUV saying, "What was that noise? Did you feel a slight bump?" and then later they find a q-tip sized piece of me on their bumper and have to use DNA analysis to determine it WAS me. Cute car; I'll drive it when we go to Ireland, but not here, thank you very much!

Karen said...

Kathy and Andrew might be more "emo" than Fuzzy and I (LOL -- me, emo???) but WE are the ones that see DEATH when we look at this car! HAH!