The SmartCar is coming.

Discussion in 'Community' started by Xtremehkr, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #1
    Highway One

    Cool.
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    We've had them here for years now, I don't like 'em. They also do a kinda roadster version, and that looks even worse IMO :eek:

    I don't know how safe they are, but just from looking at them and seeing how little there is between you and the car about to hit you, I wouldn't want to have an accident in one either!

    ...still, very economical...
     
  3. Xtremehkr thread starter macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    please, please, please read the article before mentioning the safety aspect, they seem to be well designed in that aspect.

    They're too small for me, but I can see them becoming popular in downtown areas. They would rock in a city like San Francisco.
     
  4. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #4
    I actually like the roadster. Its only the four-two that I think looks totally disproportionate.

    SMART is a weird brand. on one hand, they get great gas mileage. On the other hand they have little useable space and are very, very expensive cars for their size and capability ($15k plus). I mean, if you have to spend an extra 5 grand to save on gas, its not really as economical anymore. Especially considering how much more practical cars priced signifcantly less can be. they'll have a market for some people: people who do a lot of short trips by themselves with few passengers, and those looking for the cachet of a "fuel efficient" vehicle, but I doubt they'll be that successful in the north american market.

    They are actually already on sale in Canada at mercedes dealerships (who own the SMART brand. They've been talking about bringing it here to the US in the form of the four-more or four-four, but the weak dollar and other factors have delays and possibly cancelled that effort. Note that the Zap company who are bringing them here are not the manufacturer, and who knows what their warranty coverage, etc will be. If it was mercedes selling them like they are in Canada, I'd feel more comfortable buying one (but I still wouldn't, too expensive, too small). I got a chance to check them out in Canada while I was at the detroit autoshow for work, and they are interesting, but definiltey not for me. Maybe if I lived in a city, but even then, I'm not so sure. someone mentioned they'd be great in San Francisco, but I'm not so sure of that. They are so underpowered they might have a very difficult time on those hills. Heck, my saturn has a difficult time on those hills (not that saturn is in any way powerful, its just more powerful than a smart car)
     
  5. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #5
    It's no so much who you hit as who hits you that'd worry me.


    I've used a SMART coupe and could literally wide down the window put your arm out and touch the wall behind you when backing up, here's that little room behind you. Of course this is great for parking but scary thought if someone rear-ends you.

    Also the gearboxes have (or had at launch) a mind of their own and are probably just as likely to be the reason you get rear-ended.
     
  6. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    London, England
    #6
    I didn't say they were unsafe, I said from looking at them they worry me.
     
  7. sorryiwasdreami macrumors 6502a

    sorryiwasdreami

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    Apr 24, 2004
    Location:
    way out in the sticks
    #7
    Smart cars are actually made by a colaboration between Mercedes Benz and Swatch, the swiss watch company. I loved seeing them all over Italy, parking perpendicular to curbs, rather than parallel. The places those little buggers can fit is insane.
     
  8. cyanide macrumors regular

    cyanide

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #8
    for insane driving of the SMARTS, go to Germany where you can rent on for 5 euros a day. dont belive for one second that anything is a sidewalk, if there are SMARTS in view, you are on the road! on a different note, I still wish Apple would make cars. can you IMAGINE?!?! actually, I wish apple made everything. even my toilet paper.
     
  9. Xtremehkr thread starter macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #9
    Not specifically for you edesign, just something I left out of the original post. From the article at least, they are quite safe. The insurance companies remain skeptical, but I have heard that they are really well designed when it comes to protecting the driver/passenger.
     
  10. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #10
    They're so so (euro ncap test).
     
  11. brap macrumors 68000

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    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Nottingham
    #11
    Isn't Average Joe Yankee's girth going to be a bit of a problem here?

    Smart: the car for the bulimic masses(tm).
     
  12. mvc macrumors 6502a

    mvc

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    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Outer-Roa
    #12
    And heres food for thought, maybe your big gas guzzling highway patrol can learn a thing or two from this italian version I saw in Umbria.

    Imagine a High Speed Pursuit in this! :p
     

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  13. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #13
    Oh no it isn't!

    DaimlerChrysler are being urged by US Bank Morgan Stanley to close the loss making SmartCar brand.

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/News_Article.asp?NA_ID=213461

    BMW’s share price rocketed 35% when they ditched Rover and Mercedes new boss is desperately trying to save costs and has already cut back development of niche models that were being planned for the mainstream brands.
     
  14. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #14
    They're fantastically strong and rigid, but there lies the problem. Such is the structural strength of the car (and it is considerable) the deceleration forces are substantially greater to the occupants than with a conventional car with well developed 'crumple zones' and this is likely where the injuries will occur.

    They're great fun in town though, and as you pointed out are ideal in city centres. They have truly slingshot'esque acceleration, which in town in an unanswerable boon when you need to be able to zip around. They'll also cruise at 70 mph with no worries at all... the biggest issue for me though is the over zealous stability aids fitted to the car (a mainstay of short wheelbase Mercs' since the A Class elk test debacle) which can understeer you off the road in the quest to remain upright. :eek:
     
  15. iGav macrumors G3

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    Mar 9, 2002
    #15

    Haven't Mercedes already pulled out of an agreement with McLaren to build more 'uber' models as well?
     
  16. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    Aug 10, 2004
    #16
    If it proves reliable, count me in. We need more and more of this. I just spent a week in Burbank and the smog was awful. The highways was a fancy name for rolling parking lot. Calif is in dire need of this and more. I wonder if you would get a discount at a downtown parking tower like in NY because of how small it is?
    While gas is becoming less and less of a percentage of oil useage, we need this for air quality and to sustain resources. Bring on the Hydrogen version!
     
  17. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #17
    have been around here for a few years now and have proven to be very popular

    i've read somewhere that more than 40% of all smart sold were bought for business and used for placing ads on them ... companies like them for promotions and stuff

    (and the japanese tourits like to take pictures of them ;) )
     
  18. crazytom macrumors 6502a

    crazytom

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    IL
    #18
    Sign me up!

    I can't wait for one of these to hit my town. I'm currently in a 1991 Geo Metro (43 mpg) that probably doesn't have much life left in it. And, since I don't need to compensate for anything ( ;) ), a Smart would fit me well. I'm just disappointed in how they're marketing it here in the US. I found one site that wanted you to pay $50 for an informational CD and to be put on the waiting list to purchase... :confused: It's a shame they aren't marketing the diesel models here...they get closer to 70 mpg.
     
  19. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    #19
    Going the other way... what are they like for legroom? Being a bit on the tall side, I have to say I don't think they look like they'd be that comfy. Any six-footers here ever taken one for a drive?
     
  20. iGav macrumors G3

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    Mar 9, 2002
    #20
    I'm 6,3" and chunky! :D and I fit in fine! ;) But I wouldn't want to do a 100 mile commute in one everyday though. :eek: ;) :p
     
  21. rt_brained macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    Creativille
    #21
    Right, but Santa Ana and Irvine are far cries from San Fransisco. In Orange County vehicles like Mercedes, BMW and Hummers are as frequent and common as Fords, Pontiacs and Chevys. in the Midwest. The Smart will have its fans in OC, mostly from early adopters interested in the immediate attention the cars will garnish, but unless dealers are prepared to create a niche, I don't see OC adopting the Smart anytime soon. Perhaps as a second or third vehicle—like the Miata or the Mini—a conversation piece.

    On the other hand, in San Francisco where Subarus far outnumber BMWs and Mercs, the Smart likely will do extraordinarily well and be considered 'cool'.
     
  22. mpw Guest

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    Jun 18, 2004
    #22
    There's plenty of room once in, more than most small euro-hatchs, and getting in & out is easy too cause the driving position is actually quite high with big doors.
     
  23. mpw Guest

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    Jun 18, 2004
    #23
    A local estate agent was giving a branded Smart ForTwo away to the purchasor of each house they sold here last year. You got one covered in their adverts and had to hand it back after 12months.
     
  24. Xtremehkr thread starter macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #24
    Thanks for the info edesign. I don't really see them as being freeway vehicles. The streets of California are just as congested as the freeways these days. I can think of a lot of places where it would be well received though. There are plenty of people who are retired and really only drive locally. Being easy to park, they would be great. And couldn't really do as much damage in a Farmers Market.
     
  25. candan9019 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario-> Louisiana-> Colorado-> Ontario
    #25
    I've seen some on the freeway in Toronto. Most of the cars on the road in Toronto are smaller cars so the Smart kinda fits in. Out west though I would never go near one, going through Denver with one would be a nightmare. I don't care how good it is it won't win against a Ford Excursion.
     

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