Mental Floss

Get Smart

David K. Israel
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According an article in today's New York Times, the Smart car, which we've all marvelled at on our trips across the pond, may be coming to a dealership near you as soon as 2008! According to the article:

DaimlerChrysler, which shelved an earlier plan to bring its Smart mini-car brand to the United States, plans to announce on Wednesday that it will introduce the tiny, two-seat vehicle to the American market early in 2008, according to several executives at the company.

Since it's appearance in The Da Vinci Code, Steven Schneider, CEO of ZAP, a Santa Rosa firm that markets alternative-fuel cars, says "We have 53,000 e-mails (from prospective buyers) that we've not been able to get back to."
So what's so smart about the little bugger, other than its size? Here's the skinny:

* First called a Swatchmobile by Swiss Swatch inventor, Nicolas Hayek, when he designed it; the Smart Car is a compact, 2-seat, hybrid, fuel-efficient and environmentally sound car.

* Size: 8 feet 2 inches long; 4 feet 11 inches wide * Weight: 1,588 pounds.

* Gas mileage: 60 mpg in Europe; 40 mpg expected in the U.S. because of emissions tinkering.

* Price: Mid-$20,000s. (Though this hasn't been confirmed.)

* It just looks so cute, especially when sized up next to the Hummer in the photo above. How could you not want one? Even just as a pet? "Hey, Bob, you see my pet Smart car yet? Check it out!"

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