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For a car that is to be released in less than 6 months, they sure are being secretive about it.

P.R. better be getting started with U.S.A. T.V. & magazine spots. Not revamped Canadian & European commercials that can only be seen on YouTube.

Everybody I come into contact with knows nothing about Smart ForTwo.
When I show them a picture, they all say, "you will get yourself killed in that thing."

The 70 M.P.H. barrier crash video must aired on commercial T.V. as soon as possible.

Here in the U.S.A., land of the huge, not enough people are going to buy a car that they think will get themselves creamed by an Arnold Schwarzenegger type in his big Hummvee.
Bill

Passion-Deep Black/Black/Beige-07/03/07
 

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When I show them a picture, they all say, "you will get yourself killed in that thing."
I've been thinking about that over the last few weeks. I live just Northeast of Los Angeles. If you're on the freeway, then you are either going 10 mph or 75 mph, but it's all in the same direction. If you are on the city streets, then you are going about 25-35 mph against traffic, not that bad IMO.

It's bad if you are back, in say Wisconsin, where I'm originally from. Most highways are one lane each way and you're going 55-75 mph. That's not so good for anyone. Don't forget the deer.

Now let's look at the population.
Los Angeles = 3.7 million in the city alone
Southern CA = 24 million
Wisconsin = 5.6 million in the state

My point, I'd rather drive a Smart in CA than in WI, because the traffic is more dense, resulting in slower traffic. More fender benders, but I'll take that.
 

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At the time they don't seem to need any advertising. They have over 24,000 people signed up for a supposed first year delivery of 16,000 cars. When they start hitting the roads they can start the hype for future buyers.
 

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At the time they don't seem to need any advertising. They have over 24,000 people signed up for a supposed first year delivery of 16,000 cars. When they start hitting the roads they can start the hype for future buyers.
Agreed... not much point in advertising a car with 30,000 reservations of intent with an annual production of 20,000 anticipated. Advertising may have to begin sometime in mid-2009.
 

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Agreed... not much point in advertising a car with 30,000 reservations of intent with an annual production of 20,000 anticipated. Advertising may have to begin sometime in mid-2009.
Agreed, an investment in advertisement this early in the game would be a waste of funds. The car will advertise itself when it hits the USA. I'm sure at that time Penske will have literature and believe it...the media will be all over it. :)
 

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I've been thinking about that over the last few weeks. [SNIP].....

My point, I'd rather drive a Smart in CA than in WI, because the traffic is more dense, resulting in slower traffic. More fender benders, but I'll take that.
// I'm wondering the same thing, much of my commuting is on 2-lane country roads with occasional lumber trucks. Hopefully with ABS and ESC, and being skinny, a smart may be able to avoid collisions. But I am willing to take on a little risk for the privilege of driving a Cabrio with the top down.

Eric M., wishing for smart in Enfield, Maine
 

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Ditto

Agreed, an investment in advertisement this early in the game would be a waste of funds. The car will advertise itself when it hits the USA. I'm sure at that time Penske will have literature and believe it...the media will be all over it. :)
You took the words right out of my mouth, SmartBob! Once they hit the streets the race will be on for the *later adopters* to get one. The wait for all of us early reservists will become excruciatingly more difficult as we draw nearer to Jan '08. Hope there are no delays or setbacks like they have had with the Tesla '07 release being pushed up into '08.:(
 

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a smart may be able to avoid collisions. But I am willing to take on a little risk for the privilege of driving a Cabrio with the top down.
Metzler: I totally agree. I drive a Neon R/T right now and I KNOW of at least 3 potential accidents I avoided because of the size and agility of my car. This is a point Big truck/car and SUV owners ignore because they feel so safe. Odds are they'll get in a wreck before us because they just can't get out of the way.
 

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Over time the Smart should prove to be relatively safe vehicle

Most Smart cars will be used in big urban areas

Tridion cell, front and side air bags

Great all around visibility even with the rag top version


Yes we will have to occasional head on with a significantly bigger vehicle...

It will be the dummies that think the fuel efficiency is such that they can cruise from Lower CA on I-10 to I-20 and up across I-40 to visit Aunt Matilda in Virginia.

Sure the dinky car will do it, but on some of those roads it won't be wise to compete with tired sleepy truckers and other high speed SUV idiots
 

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Can you imagine meeting and passing a double-clutching, E-Flat Pacific Intermountain Express tandem rig at speed on a dirt-shouldered two lane road??!! Especially if you have following traffic with no opportunity to brake and hang on. Been through that deal a number of times in a new ’62 Rambler – no fun.
 

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IN another thread I related about driving a Smart in Germany on the Autobahn

Truck traffic in Germany must run right lane no faster then 80Kph (55~60ish mph)

The Smart felt good cruising at about 100~120Kph (62~75ish mph)

When over taking a giant Flat nosed big rig at around 70~80mph the wind buffet is pretty dramatic and if not prepared for it, over compensation is going to be a real problem for folks here who are used to much more heavy and stable cars at freeway speeds....

Those of us who have a lot of hours in Beatles and civics will not have a problem ...But I can see someone jumping on the freeway in a Smart after several years in a big heavy Suburban or Excursion and having the holy hell scared out of them in this situation:

Right when you get inside the buffet zone near the trucks front tire, the air currents suck you toward the giant truck, then you enter the turbulent air buffet and get squirmy, and as you pass ahead you now are pushed out away....

This is not an area to get timid and slow down!

In fact the faster you can make the pass the better
 

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I probably didn’t wordcraft it right before. I was talking about meeting a rig from the opposite direction at maybe a 130 MPH relative closing-rate. On a divided interstate the relative passing speeds are probably never greater than 20 MPH, though obviously more protracted.

The reason you tend to get sucked in while passing is the “Bernouli Principle.” We shiphandlers deal with it all the time when meeting or passing another ship in a narrow channel, or when getting close to the channel bank (then, “bank suction”). The greater the relative speed, the greater the effect.

(Bernouli is alternately spelled with a double-L)
 

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Engine Options ?

Several months ago I was hearing rumors of a "Hybrid" version - a Diesel option and even a "turbo" option on the 1 liter.
Anyone else have some input on any drive train options ?
I mean ,come on---1 Liter ? My US built riding lawn mower has more
displacement ! I can't imagine American buyers being happy with the
performance the 1 Liter will "try" to produce. :confused:
 

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Hey Smartass

The Smart I drove in Germany did not have the HP rating the 1L 71 HP we are going to get... I thought the older German version was OK...not stellar, but I did not feel it was underpowered... I drove several 52 and 64 HP VW Beatles, Rabbits, and Renault R5s over the years and the Smart seemed to have a lot more pep....

I highly doubt we will see turbo or CDI in the first or second year of the North America USA versions...if fact I bet hybrid or full electric has a leg up if this car becomes a neat urban "city" car

It won't take too long for the modifiers to spring up either...in the UK, France, and Germany there are several "shops" that have mods to get into the 89~100HP range with these light weight cars making them quite sporty
 

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I'm sure we've all experienced the wind effects of a big rig at one time or another. Caution and common sense should avoid any problem.
As for a 1Ltr/70hp engine.....It's plenty of power for our Smarties at their weight. Back in the day of Euro and Japanese imports most cars had between 60-80 hp and weren't nearly as safe and well designed as the Smart Car. We didn't have a problem with them at all. Again, it's all about knowing you car and driving skills. I can't wait to get behind the wheel. It should be great fun as so many people have said. :)
 

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I'm with you, too, Eric M.. I have had enough small cars to know that collisions and incidents can be avoided due to the smaller cars agility and good handling...if it has it that is. The new Smarts, by the test I just read about done in the UK by a smart Club there, seem to have way better handling than that sorry skid pad test some of us viewed on here not too long ago that mysteriously disappeared from the threads. It showed a Smart that totally failed the test and looked like a POS as far as it's handling ability was concerned....maybe best that the thread was removed....:))
 

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The Rambler wasn’t mine, but there is a good sea story to follow to go with it.

My first wheels was a well-used 1947 Austin A10 Cambridge saloon. Pretty clapped-out when I got it, but in its better days was not bad: good deep black paint, heavy chrome-work, leather seats, chestnut dash, Melton carpets, all of about 30+ BHP out of a 1125cc flat-head four. A bit of a down was the mechanical, cable actuated brakes.

My second was an also used 1958 Hillman Minx (Sunbeam Rapier-ized with the twin S.U. side-draft carb engine and 4-speed plus Lay**** de Normanville electric overdrive). Again, good paint, good chrome, leather, Melton carpets. Downside: keeping the Skinner-Unions in synch; Lucas electrics.

Thence SAABs.

The sea story: Now, this ain’t no …t. Well, maybe, in a sense. The Rambler was a friend’s, and four of us knaves right out of high school drove it cross-country to the Seattle World’s Fair and back in the summer of ’62. Came one of the numerous occasions of meeting/passing a big rig at speed on the narrow, two-lane U.S. 30 in Nebraska or Wyoming or somewhere. Heavy rain. The blast of the passing truck lifted the driver side windshield wiper 90-degrees off the glass where it stayed. We were immediately half blinded; I was doing my best to conn the car from my side, while the driver was slowing and rolling down his window to see out to find a place to pull off. Half the windshield was opaque. Then we realized that the passing rig was a stock truck with the heavy rain flushing out all of the animal detritus and pulling it along in a great, thick cloud behind. I came out fine, but the driver and left rear passenger didn’t. We wound up ditching it inadvertently for lack of visibility and coordination before finding a turn out.

That is why I would be a bit trepiditious in such circumstances with a smart.

(Here we go again. The overdrive was like the head coach of the William & Mary football team: Jimmy L a y c o c k.)
 

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Yeah guys, the days of our first cars were great. Mine was a very early muscle car, a 56 Studebaker Golden Hawk. Not what you would call a popular car in 1966 but man was it fast. I've also had my share of low hp cars, early Falcons, and a few Peugeot diesels. One of my favorites which I still own, a 53hp MG Midget and a 12hp Citroen 2CV.

Many people drove 36, 40, and 53hp VWs. They were 2000lb.+ cars that went everywhere.I don't recall anybody having a problem with VWs on the highway with the possible exception of the van/bus.

I have a 40hp diesel and a 61hp gas smart and have driven from the Canadian border to the Mexican border in both of them with no problems. Yes they will be buffeted in the wind as will any small car and yes you have to plan ahead to do a high speed pass but again this is not a new concept.

The biggest difference is in a smart you will be doing the above mentioned driving with a big smile on your face.:D
 
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