Joined: 21 Dec 2005
Don't bet on getting anything like this anywhere in the US. Dhe Dept of Transportation would block this car just like they have been blocking the Smart Car. Unsafe due to not enough mass. Right now the smallest car you can get is the Chev Avio and im suprised that the gov allowed that. The polititions always talk about saving fuel but it's just lip service. Has to weigh a gaziooion tons and use 100 miles to a gallon. Personally I'd like to se something nuclear powered. [just kidding]
Those things are amazing. Several of us drove the SmartCars a few summers ago. Derrick seemed to get a kick out of them. One problem though - you'd have to be very careful about scooters turning right in front of you - they might not see you. Imagine getting nailed by an Expedition in one of those things.
Joined: 18 Jun 2005
Location: Longfellow, Minneapolis
Imagine getting nailed by an Expedition in one of those things.
Being a fan of small cars, I think a lot about that. But the Smart has a pretty incredible body design, such that it's more likely to protect you in a serious accident than most cars twice its size. It's designed so that the passenger compartment is contained within a single-piece high-tensile plastic cage such that however it twists around, the compartment will not substantially shrink as long as it doesn't completely fail, which at least in European traffic accidents they aren't prone to do. But of course everything is bigger here, and the extreme weight of some SUVs probably would substantially raise the risk of catastrophic failure of the frame. Still, I guess it's a lot tougher than a metal cage of similar dimensions, and it keeps its shape better too.
Those of us who live our lives completely within the urban core could really appreciate the smart though - easy to park, good in any weather, peppy at low speeds, and unlike a scooter, able to haul the offspring. Not likely I'd drive one out into the SUV-loving suburbs though, and a trip cross-country would suck.
Joined: 21 Dec 2005
When I was at the dealership in Berlin they really took time to explain to me what makes the Smart such a safe car. One componet is the size an height of the doors. A SUV cannot penetrate the door on either side due to its bottom height off of the ground and its shape. Also the crumple zones and rear diving engine. The list goes on. It's an incredible car
Joined: 16 Oct 2005
Location: obviously not where you are
I like small cars, but have an angst about them even though I have a few. My opinion on small cars on US roads ...if you put a bug in a crush proof jar and shake it really hard, you will still kill the bug. Small cars on US Roads is a mix for disaster for that tank driver that doesn't care to pay attention because they aren't the ones that will get hurt. Anyone remember the bumper sticker that said, Drive Defensively, Buy a Tank. ...so the bug driving that allegedly crush proof baby food jar on US roads doesn't stand a chance unless they can stay out of harms way.
_________________ If there are any parts on the road behind me, pick 'em up, I may need 'em real soon.
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