Orlando Sentinel, section F, Dec. 15, 2007
by Steven Cole Smith
GS has criticized the USA and their auto manufacturers for lack of urgency in allowing and making, respectively, more efficient vehicles. me included, with my background in GM, i've posted about their futile attempts at such.
that said, this newly imported(or soon to be) Smart For Two is quite the joke as well. i mean a two seater for $12,240-$17,240 @ 33/40mpg? IMHO it is worthless other than as a novelty. how many cars are out their for equal FE and better acommodations @ a better price?
granted, it's a division of mercedes benz which is not known for value per dollar(unless ammenities are valuable to a buyer). if this is just a start, allowing similar, less pricey cars into the states, fine. otherwise, the article is aptly named!
The only Smart that interests me is the one that runs on diesel. Doesn't even the diesel version have some kind of weird automated manual transmission though? Anyways, I personally am holding out for a smaller offering from VW. Something along the lines of a Lupo TDI or Polo TDI...
From my POV it's a niche car. I consider it to be the equivalent of an enclosed motorcycle because of it's small carrying capacity and it's "footprint" in USA-SUV-Heavy traffic. Here are some motorcycle comparisons :
I *didn't* spend much time analyzing these bikes, so they are not a well-thought out comparison. However, you can see similar price-points.
Since it is designed with dense non-grid European cities in mind, it would be great for places like NYC, Boston, and SF, but maybe not so great for spread out cities like LA.
Another purpose it will serve is to "pull" the market in the direction of smaller cars. The presence of the Honda CRX in the USA market helped bring about the Mazda MX3 and Toyota Paseo.
I agree with the others. I want a full stickshift (not a paddle shift) and a diesel version. That would be an FE butt-kicker. Maybe Mercedes Benz could license Honda's coming diesel technology. That looks more promising that the urea-solution.
"I want a full stickshift (not a paddle shift) and a diesel version. That would be an FE butt-kicker. Maybe Mercedes Benz could license Honda's coming diesel technology. That looks more promising that the urea-solution."