DARN YOU!! You just cost me about $13k +/- USD. The wife has been waiting patiently for one of these for many years now and I promised her one when the time comes (US Spec not grey market). Looks like the time has come - I haven't been actively waiting for one so I haven't kept track of them much and this thread renewed her interest.
I just reserved a Pure. I was going to spend the extra $400 for met. blue w/ silver accents because she hates yellow (which is what I want) but the $400 extra killed that. Looks like we'll have a bumblebee We are going cheap cheap cheap. Need no frills except A/C.
Did you get interior pics yet? The smartusa site lacks them.
I just came back from driving the new smart fortwo here in Portland, OR. Mikes review is quite accurate, so I don't really have much to add. I was impressed with the car, which was surprising because I've been following it for so long I figured it would disappoint me. A very solid feel to the drive, though I didn't take it on the highway. The polycarbonate roof version is great, a very open feel. The engine bay is incredibly tight, which I guess I should have expected for the size of it. Future mechanics will have to be very flexible and small.
The guy I drove with said they (the smart tour) have been getting high 40's in the city and low 50's on the highway. Certainly not hypermiling either; he said he personally was a lead foot and drove 85-90mph and got 43mpg between Seattle and Portland.
I'm still disappointed in the lack of CDI diesel, especially with the new more powerful and efficient version they have now in Europe. As I've said before, if the CDI was coming here my name would be on the reservation list, ready to run Biodiesel. Right now, looking at the current car with mostly a FE eye, I probably wouldn't be making an improvement over my VX. This makes considering such a purchase all the more difficult. I would really like to support small cars here in the USA. If there is not enough interest in cars like the fortwo then we'll just keep on getting cars with pathetic FE numbers, and the US "fleet" will remain inefficient.
Consider this: a version of the 70/71 HP gasoline engine with stop/start system, whch improves the FE in the ECE "combined" cycle by nearly 10%, should be introduced for North America in 2008 sometime. It is out in Europe starting in a week or two.
I hear what you're saying about this car's FE not being better than the VX, but also the concern that if the car does not sell well in the USA, others will not be offered either, therefore: more SUVs with 6.3 L V-8s will be made for the masses.
I have read some reviews of the new cdi diesel from Europe and the news is mixed. Sure, the economy potential is better than with the gasoline version, but the new 5 speed gearbox leaves gaps in the engine's optimal torque spacings when shifting between a couple of gears....the engine reportedly falls off the boil and it takes a while to spool it up again. That is an issue we don't have with our older version, because it has a 6 speed with geometric spacing. Every upward gearshift - if done at even 2500 RPM, lands the older model right into the low end of the peak torque range (1800 RPM). Shifting at 2800 lands it in the higher gear at 2300 RPM, right in the middle of the peak torque band (which is 1800-2800 RPM). With the new one, you either fall off the peak curve or have to rev it higher in the lower gears before shifting. That doesn't sound like lots of fun.
Also, checking spritmonitor.de, the eight 33 kW diesels (new version, as opposed to the 30 kW version I have) are averaging a poor 4.96 L/100 km (47 US MPG) so far (admittedly not well run in yet) versus a better 4.13 L/100 km (57 US MPG) for the older model (361 cars). I wonder if the number for the new model will approach the old one, with the advent of more members there reporting FE, and break in. I know in my car's case, the FE went from 4.3 average after 2500 km, to 3.88 now, a relatively small improvement. I guess I am concerned that the new cdi may not be as efficient as the older one, notwithstanding the "official FE numbers" from the ECE. Bear in mind that the typical member of spritmonitor drives in Germany and is not trying to hypermile.
You could always get a cabriolet, so it is a multi-purpose car: decent FE and a fun cruiser for sunny days...? I don't know. That's sort of how I rationalized buying ours. In reality it was a surrealistic decision, considering that we have three kids and the family car was super high mileage at 200,000+ miles. But now we're buying a Mercedes B 200 so I guess that part has been taken of, nearly three years later. Good luck with your decision.
lol has mpre hp than my chevette (63 horses woo!!!) still wouldnt buy one tho. i wanna know about reliability. i plan to keep cars till they rust in half or blow up. those shifting servos are gonna wear out sooner or later all the while my mechanical slushbox is goin just fine. that and i wanan be able to accualy do maintince stuff to the engine so i dont get screwed at an auto shop....so can you accualy get to everyhting? like wires, plugs, t-stat, any othe rlittle filters/valves?
I had an opportunity to drive a new style smart car with the 84 HP turbo engine on September 19th.
Of course my comments on the test drive in Seattle would generally apply to this one, with the exception of the power and sound of the engine, which is absolutely superb in the turbo!
The acceleration is exhilirating after driving a car with less than half the power for 3 years. Offically 0-100 drops in 10.9 seconds, but it feels a lot faster than that. The shift program in softouch was very well suited to hard driving, and the shifts were very smooth.
There is more low-down torque apparent than with the older cdi smart that I drive, and the power rises sharply towards the top end of the rev range, unlike the cdis, which have flat power between 3000 and 4500 rpm. This peaky characteristic lets the engine stretch into a loud bark as you get higher into the ever-rising power band, then it hits the limiter and softouch switches it into the next gear (this car did not have a tach!!).
I would STRONGLY encourage smart to bring this car (and the Brabus) to Canada and the USA as an optional powertrain for 2009.
It was simply fabulous. Now I really want to drive a Brabus......and a Brabus 112....
if the FE was good, I'd be interested in this car. That it gets less than 70mpg and isn't really able for highway driving makes it unappealing. The real benefit seems to be being able to park in more city parking spaces, other than that, what does it offer a sub-compact doesn't? My car is much bigger and heavier, has more horsepower, has better 0-60 acceleration, is 15 years older, and despite all that gets better gas mileage! Sorry, just had to point this out.