$12k probably won't work. Not when a Corolla is available for about the same price with slightly lower fuel economy, but much greater utility, power, and comfort than the Smart...
If Chrysler really wanted the SMART to get anywhere, they'd have brought the European version over. People are going to buy a car like this for fuel economy. If it doesn't deliver on this aspect, it's probably doomed.
4. How much will a smart vehicle cost?
Pricing for the smart fortwo is expected to start under $15,000, excluding destination charges, tax, title, license and optional equipment. Exact pricing will not be determined until late 2007. Once this information has been determined, it will be posted on www.smartusa.com.
One thing I heard was that in Europe, the Smart has never met sales expecations because of it's high price (for what you get). It looks like it will be cheaper here, but with all the trimmings, maybe not by much.