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Would not surprise me considering clutch pedal transmission sales across the US market. We won't be getting the 60 hp engine either. :)
 

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If Mercedes has a big introduction of the 453, dangles all of the attributes of the 453 in our face, and then jerks half of the improvements out from under our noses they just might be sealing their demise here in the states. I see the selective use of the gold color just in the forfour and of course we don't get the forfour. Now no stick for the US. Probably just the tip of the ice burg for US holdbacks. Talk about bait and switch....bad moods certainly follow that tract.
Like I've said before...I'm glad I have my City Flame. I will use it until I can't and then jump ship. I do not appreciate the obvious track Mercedes is planning for smarts in the US.
Maybe that is reacting before those things actually happen but Mercedes needs to know how the people (that actually care about the brand) in the US feel concerning their holdbacks in the US.


edit: This probably deserves it's own thread.
 

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I guess smart doesn't want to make the same mistake Fiat did with the Abarth. Only offering a manual transmission only. Manual Abarth sales sucked, Fiat had to give them away, $7-8K lost. Go figure, Americans like automatics. High end sports cars now have dual clutch auto's, with paddles. Paddles are fun. Kids today don't want to learn how to drive a manual tranny.
 

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DrKillerBee
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Mercedes isn't (according to the article) offering the stick here at all. Not offering the stick only. There are plenty of people here in the US that still like the stick....even kids. Why the limitation to one or the other. If it's about money, so be it....they won't see any of mine...that's about money.
Mercedes needs to learn to say yes in the US (like they do in Europe) instead of no.
 

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Why would Mercedes offer.a manual transmission here? Under 4% of 2013 US new cars came with a manual transmission. Even if you figure it as more than double at 10% for the number of people who would buy a smart with a manual, and figure 1500 smarts per month (both figures seem very generous to me, given the best sales month for 451s since January 2010 is 1048), that gives you 150 manual transmission cars per month. Since I doubt that the margins on a 453 would be anywhere near what they are on an SLK, why should they go to the trouble and expense of adding that option? Not doing it means less training for mechanics, fewer parts to stock, less time dealing with US gov't paperwork and you can sell any car to anyone who wants it, instead of only being able to sell some of them to people who want a manual transmission. I suspect that a lot of the reason MB even bothers with smart at all is a for CAFE purposes, not as a car links they really want to have.
 

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DrKillerBee
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With the introduction of the 453 I just assumed Mercedes wanted to increase their market share. I obviously missed the memo where they wanted to limit the attraction of new customers to the new model. I hope Mercedes gets better mileage from their newer models as more and more restrictions on the new US bound model will reduce the number of smarts they sell here. What a pity.
I will probably just ignore any more threads concerning the 453 until it is introduced and we know how restricted the offerings on it will be.
 

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true Steven, but that should give us more of an idea what we are in for than we have now. Having lived in Germany for 17 yrs. the non us versions are so close to ours now that the Eurozone smarts should be about what we will wind up with.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
true Steven, but that should give us more of an idea what we are in for than we have now. Having lived in Germany for 17 yrs. the non us versions are so close to ours now that the Eurozone smarts should be about what we will wind up with.

Yes, except with regard to what this thread is about – manual transmissions. When the configurator goes live, we still won't know if the manual will come here immediately, sometime in the future, or never.

Either way, my choice will be a DCT.
 

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A large slice of the reported sales of Smart cars in the US, is in realty, made to "Cars To Go", MB's own in house rental agency.

Few people will rent stick shift cars.

Mystery of disappearing stick shift solved. A2Jack
 

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Much as I like manual trannys, (7/8 of the cars I've owned in my driving life have been manuals) I see the demise of the manual transmission in the future, CVTs and 6 speed automatics will be the norm for ICEs. As gas gets less available, and more expensive, engines will get more efficient (read smaller) and the gas guzzling muscle cars will only be found in car museums. :crying:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm a diehard manual transmission guy, but will eagerly make the switch to DCT with my next smart.

1. Paddle shifters give me full control when I want it, OR can let me be lazy.
2. SoCal freeways and urban congestion often don't make fun for manny-trannys.
3. The DCT shifts quicker, is smarter, more fuel-efficient, and has an extra gear.
4. I'm in a better mood when I'm stuck in traffic without having to ride the clutch.

Looking forward to the change!
 

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I have not seen any FE numbers showing better mileage with the 6 speed. Does someone have a link to that info?

Ford stats that in the Fiesta their 6 speed auto is better on fuel than the 5 speed manual and that is not the case in the real world.
 

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Why would Mercedes offer.a manual transmission here? Under 4% of 2013 US new cars came with a manual transmission. Even if you figure it as more than double at 10% for the number of people who would buy a smart with a manual, and figure 1500 smarts per month (both figures seem very generous to me, given the best sales month for 451s since January 2010 is 1048), that gives you 150 manual transmission cars per month. Since I doubt that the margins on a 453 would be anywhere near what they are on an SLK, why should they go to the trouble and expense of adding that option? Not doing it means less training for mechanics, fewer parts to stock, less time dealing with US gov't paperwork and you can sell any car to anyone who wants it, instead of only being able to sell some of them to people who want a manual transmission. I suspect that a lot of the reason MB even bothers with smart at all is a for CAFE purposes, not as a car links they really want to have.
The reason is that it's usually MUCH cheaper to make a manual verses an automatic; so, companies can advertise a low price and then up-charge for the auto to the tune of $800-1000 bucks. I save the money and buy the manual. after 35 years of driving mostly sticks I don't even notice or even thick about it -- it's just automatic (pun, of course, intended!).

I have not seen any FE numbers showing better mileage with the 6 speed. Does someone have a link to that info?

Ford stats that in the Fiesta their 6 speed auto is better on fuel than the 5 speed manual and that is not the case in the real world.
Yeah, I'm not sure how they do their cycles but my feeling is the same. I'm absolutely sure that given the same top ratio I could get better mileage with a manual. And CVTs? They are still having WAY too many problems with them -- I don't need the headaches!
 

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I'm absolutely sure that given the same top ratio I could get better mileage with a manual.
My only qualm with that statement is the the transmission on the current smart is optimized for fuel efficiency pretty strongly, whereas a lot of other non-hybrid cars are not. Fuel efficiency was not on anyone's mind until the last decade or so, and that goes for most carmakers too.

I won't be surprised if the smart auto transmission is very heavily optimized toward MPG. I even read an article after the launch (can't remember where though) where damler people were talking about how the smart should be able to use high gears at relatively low city speeds to keep fuel consumption lower than the current models.

Anyways, just to echo others' concerns: the 2008+ US smarts never had a real manual transmission, due to the automated clutch. Even though there might be a market base for it, it's likely an extremely small one, and there's not many people who bought a smart purely for the automated manual transmission - no smart owner, for the second generation at least, even has a smart with real manual right now.

Now on the other hand, things like the for four, turbo, and diesel would actually have a huge market in the US. US people like sporty cars, fast cars, high acceleration, and there's also a good subsection who cares about high economy (diesel) as well.
 
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