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"Smart" Cars In Italy  
User currently offlinePilot1113 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2333 posts, RR: 11
Posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2401 times:

I just got back from Italy a few days ago. While in Rome I saw some cars that can only be described as souped up golf carts. They looked like VW bugs that had their engines chopped off.

The logo on the front and back said "Smart." Does anyone know anything about these cars? Are they popular outside of Rome? Are they a hybrid or electric car?

Thanks!

- Neil Harrison

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTurin_airport From Italy, joined Oct 2001, 278 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2389 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  Smile ). Milan and Turin come close...
Smart has a gasoline turbo engine of 500 cc. It comes with two chassis: close and open.

Hope it helps.

Regards.

T_a


User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 33
Reply 2, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2384 times:

Its the only "successful" Swiss car and I don't like them at all, there are plenty here in Switzerland. They might be convenient for city traffic etc. but I don't like them, to ugly...


Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
User currently offlineHepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2375 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.

User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2362 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...


User currently offlineBmi From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2345 times:

they are GORGEOUS i want one!!!

User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2901 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2341 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...  Smile/happy/getting dizzy 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.


User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2337 times:

Id probably die if i drove that thing down the road here. Not to mention everyone in the school would gather around and start laughing.

User currently offlineAmericanmd80 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 491 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2333 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.

Joe
~americanmd80~



do what you like . like what you do . life is good
User currently offlineRacko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4857 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2323 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...


User currently offlineIl-96lover From Germany, joined May 2001, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2312 times:

@ Hepkat

actually the Smart isn´t that unsafe:

http://www.euroncap.com/details.php3?id=mcc_smart_2000

Remember it mainly for use cities, not on highways

regards

Christian


User currently offlineHepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2306 times:

Racko, horsepower has nothing to do with speed.

Christian, that may be, but if my Mitsubishi Sigma should have an accident involving a Smart car, I know which set of wheels I'd rather be driving.


User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2302 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  Big thumbs up 100+? what i got my 96' Impala SS when i was 16. Back then only a modified 300hp  Big thumbs up What at least we dont drive golf carts.....


User currently offlineDelta-flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2676 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2287 times:

Paris is full of them, too.....



Cheers,
Pete






User currently offlinePilot1113 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2333 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2285 times:

I want a Smart car. Anyone know how much they go for, in Euros?

- Neil Harrison


User currently offlineDelta-flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2676 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2283 times:

The only Smartcar websites I could find are in the UK -- prices range from £6000 to £10000, that would be roughly 9000-15000 euros

Here are a couple of websites....
http://www.thesmart.co.uk/
http://www.thesmartcar.com/

Pete


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2275 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....


User currently offlinePilot1113 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2333 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (12 years 4 months 15 hours ago) and read 2257 times:

>>but be warned they´re illegal in the US

Why are these cars illegal?

- Neil Harrison


User currently offlineHepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (12 years 4 months 15 hours ago) and read 2249 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.

User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8018 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (12 years 4 months 14 hours ago) and read 2236 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.

It'll be a great commuter car, though.  Smile


User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 4 months 14 hours ago) and read 2236 times:

Well, the Smart hasn´t been tested yet in the US (as far as I know), don´t konw if it pass. But
the new "mini" by BMW has and are for sale in the US, but price tag is sky-high I think....


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