Monday, August 13, 2007

Great site for Smart, etc.

I posted about the Smart a few days ago. I still love the car but found a site that made me a little disappointed.

If you live in any of the other 45 states [not CA NY, MA, CT or VT], the smart car is here now, and you can drive one home from Eco Auto today. Since it's launch in 1998, the smart has been a sensation in 36 countries on 6 continents, with over 750,000 now on the road. Frustrating American fans of the smart, Daimler-Chrylsler executives determined the car would not be profitable to sell here, and so, the smart is still an exotic car here, imported only as a "limited edition test market" of 1,000. When the 2008 smart arrives in franchise showrooms next year, instead of the fuel-injected, turbocharged 61 HP Mercedes Benz engine famous for getting 60 MPG on the highway and 40 in the city, it will instead have a non turbo-charged, Mitsubishi engine that gets only 32 miles per gallon in the city. Instead of the 6-speed "Softouch" transmission, it will have only a 5 speed. Instead of it's perfectly proportioned 8 feet length, it's snout has grown 9 inches longer. Instead of the Museum Of Modern Art qualifying design, it will have a more agressive "makeover."

This makes me very disappointed. The big draw of the car for me is the size and the MPG... I mean, what else is there? Are they really going to cut the MPG in half? In light of the Prius' success, why would you do that?

The site posted above sells what seem to be grey-market Smart cars for a HUGE mark-up. Smarts are supposed to range $13K - 18K (from what I've heard/read) which is respectable. These are up past $20K and as high as $26K in some cases! Of course, they are nicely appointed (heated leather, convertible, etc) but keep in mind that these are USED cars, not brand new. Oh woe is me... our transportation situation is sad.
On the other hand, on the same site, I found THIS! electric scooter for $2,500!! Goes ~30mph, has a 40 mile range, doesn't require a moto license and plugs into a regular charger! I'm very excited about this and I'm seriously considering one. Check the site out... these are really neat little scooters.
*I'm seeing on there that the top speed is governed to 30 mph which means it's capable of a lot more with the right software. Anyone up for a challenge?

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