Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Smart Idea

I read this week about Daimler-Chrysler's plan to start selling Smart cars in the U.S. in the near future. (Go here to visit their American website and see a picture of this unusual little car, which is only nine feet in length, but gets up to 69 miles per gallon on the highway.) I saw quite a few Smarts on the streets of Montreux, Switzerland when we took the college jazz band there in 1999, and everyone got a kick out of their compact size. (Several people made the crack that the car looked like something that George Jetson could fold up and carry in his briefcase when he got home.)

At any rate, the cars are very much European in look, so it would be interesting to see them on our American streets. I'm not sure I'd feel safe sharing the road with eighteen-wheelers in one of those, but the gas mileage is certainly impressive.

Oh, and I had always heard that the Smart was originally called the Swatchmobile, as it had been developed by the Swiss watchmaker, and the story on the Smart website seems to bear that out; Swatch was indeed involved in the production, with Mercedes-Benz its corporate sibling.

Fry Street updates: I haven't chimed in on the Fry Street story for a while, so I thought I'd link two recent updates from the Denton Record-Chronicle and CBS-11 respectively. Also, the Save Fry Street! site has undergone a makeover; check it out if you haven't been there recently.


Jazzy G said...

I actually saw one of those Smart Cars off of Northwest Hwy back in March. I guess the guy imported it himself or something.

Shawn said...

I wonder how much those little things would be?

That'd make trips home much cheaper.

Smart_AJ said...

The Smart Cars are already available in the US from ZAP ZP (NYSE). A California based company who is also planning on bringing a Brazilian made car to the US, the Obvio! 828, that is a hybrid that can run on any combination of ethanol and gas. Zap is also the only car company who is selling a Chinese manufactured car in the US the 100% electric Xebra city car .

Smart_AJ said...
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