Turin_airport From Italy, joined Oct 2001, 278 posts, RR: 2 Reply 1, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2028 times:
"Smart" was a joint venture between Swatch (swiss plastic watches maker) and Mercedes. The goal was to build a very small but also very trendy city car.
Launched some years ago (four +/-), Smart didn't sell well in the beginning, because it was expensive, not so versatile (just two seats) and not so pleasant to drive (poor stability, slow robotic gear). Both Mercedes and Swatch were unhappy because they were loosing money every day and, after a while, Swacth withdraw from the project.
Now that Smart is in its mid life and it's selling better than in the past, being fashionable and trendy.
Rome is the european city with most Smart (it seems to be very comfortable with the tiny roman streets and the hedonism of its inhabitants ). Milan and Turin come close...
Smart has a gasoline turbo engine of 500 cc. It comes with two chassis: close and open.
Hepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2 Reply 3, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2014 times:
They're quite a few of them here in Vienna as well. The first time I saw one I almost laughed myself silly. My car is twice as long as one of these, but people continue to buy them. My opinion is that they must be extremely unsafe, especially on highways due to their small size. They offer absolutely no support of buffer zone in the event of an accident.
Alessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2001 times:
I wouldn´t buy one myself, but sure they´re practical in a big city, you can
park two in the same space as one normal car (so if you have a friend with
a smart you can share the parking space). A problem with these cars in Sweden is the lack of "stud-tires", there´s none available and they´re needed
in the winter because of the icy roads. You can remove the plastic pieces and change color of the car without repaint it, basically a funny car for big cities...
Ndebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2897 posts, RR: 24 Reply 6, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1980 times:
If only everybody had a smart instead of a huge full-size car, we wouldn't have problems with parking spaces any more.
A friend of mine had a smart, back in the good old days when we went to school. It was a real fun car: It was not very heavy, so a group of persons could easily carry it away, and then we were hiding behind some bushes and waited for him to return, searching for his car, starting to scream... We often drove around in his car, don't think it's a two-seater, sometimes we drove around with up to four persons inside. Oh my god, those school days were crazy sometimes!
Then one night in winter it happened. My friend crashed his smart. As Alessandro mentioned, there are no "stud-tires" for the smart. This winter night at 4am he crashed his car against a wall. He said it was because of the bad tires (I think he was drunken, or he has fallen asleep, or something like that, but the stud-tire thing is the official story, which he also reported to his insurance company...).
Swissgabe Sorry to disappoint you, but the Smart project is no longer owned by Swatch. It is a 100% German company now, I think. Production facilities are in Lothringen/France, company headquarters is in Böblingen/Germany.
Americanmd80 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 491 posts, RR: 6 Reply 8, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 1972 times:
When I was in the Netherlands 2 years ago, they had these 'Smart' cars on display on Schivenegen Beach, and they were handing out flyers, I thought they were pretty cool, and I took some pictures of them. I saw quite a few when I was in Paris aswell.
do what you like . like what you do . life is good
Racko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4853 posts, RR: 20 Reply 9, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1962 times:
LOT767-300ER, what is the highest allowed speed in the USA ? I'll never understand what you over there are doing with all these 200+ Horsepower cars, driving 120? And of course I'll never understand how you can give 100+ horsepower cars in the hands of children of an age of 16, like it seems to be usual in the US...
The smart is a nice, efficient car, nothing to laugh about. Laughing at someone because he drives a economic car seems pretty dumb to me...
LOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1941 times:
Racko max is 85mph on interstates....in the western states. But not alot of people actually follow the speed limits......
" I'll never understand what you over there are doing with all these 200+ Horsepower cars, driving 120? And of course I'll never understand how you can give 100+ horsepower cars in the hands of children of an age of 16, like it seems to be usual in the US... "
Try driving in the Arizona or Nevada desert in a Opel Corsa and you will find out......ah and we do like power. You feel so whimpy with a small car..IMO 100+? what i got my 96' Impala SS when i was 16. Back then only a modified 300hp What at least we dont drive golf carts.....
Alessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1914 times:
You can find smarts on www.mobile.de but be warned they´re illegal in the US,
unless you´re not a foreign citizen and can bring in the car on foreign licenceplates (allowed one year in the US?). As for "stud-tires" (whats the proper word?), you can actually get them from Citroën 2Cv, but its illegal because its not the real size and not certified with them....
Hepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2 Reply 18, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1888 times:
Because they wouldn't be able to withstand our crash impact tests because of its small size. American cars are built to larger sizes exactly so they can withstand (to a certain degree) crash accidents.
RayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7866 posts, RR: 5 Reply 19, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1875 times:
Actually, there is talk of a second-generation Smart that could be sold in the US market. The car will be slightly bigger so it can pass NHTSA crash standards, and will probably have a hybrid (gas-electric) powerplant for the USA version.