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Minor Rant Ahead:

I think it is absolutely ridiculous that the US version of the smart is only going to get around 40 mpg when the European diesel version gets 60 mpg. Why can't we have the option of a diesel version here? Obviously, the demographic who wants the smart would go ga-ga over the 60 mpg version of same! And as for an electric version? omg, the waiting lists would be YEARS long!!!!!! I think the smart would be the ideal car to produce an electric version of. Don't get me wrong, I'm more psyched than anyone about smart's impending arrival in the US, but it is sad that, mileage-wise, it is on a par with the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris instead of in a league of its own, where it belongs. A lithium ion battery version would sell beyond anyone's wildest dreams in the US, me thinks/predicts. Too bad we won't have the chance to demonstrate our pent-up demand for such a product, at least in the foreseeable future.
 

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European mpg v. American mpg

No need to rant about the diesel; it is all about restrictive emissions (NOx) regulations. Not all European countries will get the 451 diesel either, for the same reason.
Oh...I'm confusigated. I thought all the smarts in Europe were diesel (except for the small test group of lithium ion battery smarts that either are or will be available in the UK) and got around 60 mpg, and only the American version will run on regular and get 40 mpg. Anyway, I have yet another thought: the smart would be the IDEAL car to produce a hybrid version of. Why oh why can't they do that for us relatively immediately? I would RUN to my nearest Mercedes dealership and sit there for upwards of a year to hold my place in line for a hybrid smart! Oh YEAH, babe! That would be the ticket: a hybrid smart!

P.S. I just spent $3.10 per gallon on my last fill up, btw. :( A hybrid or electric smart can't come soon enough for me! Even the regular 40 mpg one that is coming is extremely welcome!
 

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Thanks for all the info, peeps. I feel less confused over the conflicting mileage figures I'm always hearing about smart cars and what the sitch is in Europe, etc. Bottom line: my ideal would be if they would market the lithium ion battery smarts on a mass scale, including HERE in the US of A. This biz of a small scale experiment of selling 500 or whatever the number is in the UK is just maddening. First I waited for years for the Saturn EV to move from California to the rest of the nation, as promised by Saturn, only to watch GM systematically RUIN Saturn and turn it from the admirable success story it was into just another run-of-the-mill GM division, while meanwhile not only not producing the EV's for all states, but actually CRUSHING the EV's out of existence, literally. And now Mercedes is toying with me *lol*. Part of me is tempted to wait at least a model year (especially because my '99 Saturn is still running well and it is paid for! ...not to mention, there is a long waiting list for a smart car), but part of me feels: buy now, you never know if this could be the first and ONLY model year of smarts in the US. It seems carmakers are determined to prevent Americans from purchasing anything even approaching a green car.

End of soapbox...
 
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