Wednesday, November 14, 2007


SmartCars are coming to the USA!

I've been fascinated with SmartCars since I saw them in Italy a couple of years ago. When I first saw them zipping around the streets of Rome, they reminded me of the Friends episode where Rachel adopts a hairless cat, and Joey just keeps saying, "It's not a CAT!" Because, really, a SmartCar is not a CAR. It's more like a Vespa built for two, or a golf cart on steroids.

I think a big part of their appeal is that they're just so darn happy...

Obviously, SmartCars are meant for urban life. Since they're only as long as a normal car is wide, they can park in a parallel parking space with their nose against the curb. To really appreciate their size, you have to see them in context. This SmartCar is parked next to a Nissan Micra, a sub-compact economy car:

But don't underestimate their ability to get-up-and-go! We were doing 145 kph (90 mph) on the Autostrada when a SmartCar strolled past us. (I suspect that many Italians have found ways to circumvent the speed-limiting controller.) SmartCar convertibles are also available, and they also make a snazzy little Roadster.

I've been rabidly anti-SUV for more than 10 years now. (There are so many good reasons why I hate SUVs that I'm not even going to begin to list them here.) So I'm not even upset about gas prices jumping above $3/gallon. I'm just glad that people may finally be thinking more seriously about buying smaller cars! Happy day!

No comments: