1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

I got smarts !

Discussion in 'Members' Lounge' started by Celerity, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    21,969
    Likes Received:
    146
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    I've been away for a few days, but done some neat shit. Pic is attached :)

    But anyway, I met my bosses' bosses' boss , and he does lots of european finance and investments, and one of the gifts he gets are some European imports. And he has a good connection with SMART GmBh.

    And he's bringing a Roadster here. He's brought a roadster here before, but had trouble moving it (No one wanted to buy it). I put in a query to see what he can do and when he can do it.

    So I got inspired, and finally went to test drive the Smart 2for2. It's neat. And they are cheaper than I thought, significantly. But also hard as hell to actually GET.

    I drove a hard top. The Hardtop has an available acrylic roof panel with a sunshade. Tres Chic. The cars aren't available in a manual - Only an autoclutchin... well, It's not REALLY an autoclutching sequential, it's actually a 5 profile CVT that's smaller than a motorcycle transmission. And the size and simplicity of the transmission makes it disturbingly shitty to shift. It's like driving an autotragic regular car, with all the vacuum lines mistakenly routed. It shifts too soon, then too late, and when it shifts it actually feels like a clutchless auto (if anyone here outside of me has ever driven a VW auto-stick). So it feels as though it's applying the clutch pedal, killing the throttle and then reengaging the clutch. And it takes longer to actually DO it than it took me to type it out.

    But if you pretend you have a clutch, and time out your foot, it shifts quicker and smoother. The manual portion of the transmission is actuated through either the center console or through the paddles. I hate paddles, because I take cornering as a perfect opportunity to change gears to leave the apex like a watermelon seed being squeezed out of your pinched fingers.

    Holy SHIT this thing corners. It corners like an old Esprit. The rear tires are wider than the front (fronts are like 6 inches, the rears are 7.5 inches) The axles and rotating assembly are really light, and the unsprung weight is pretty nil, even though you're practically sitting OVER ALL 4 WHEELS.

    The US interior is different than the Euros, but it's still really nice. The gauges are responsive, the setup is intelligent and there is a metric assload of interior room for your legs.

    So that's it, it was fun. Oh, I put down the reservation so I'm on the list for 2 smarts, one I may be able to get rid of the Yaris for next week and get into. I put an order for a bare bones "Pure" model for $12k. The other is a convertible, loaded for $17k.


    At work, I work part-time. But they are starting to realise my abilities and may be bringing me on fulltime. I am demanding $90k. See how that turns out.

    Anyway, Ciao !
     

    Attached Files:

  2. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage YEEAAAHHH VIP

    Messages:
    24,579
    Likes Received:
    696
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Central, MA
    i freakin LOVE the smart cars. and its smart fortwo.


    cant wait for a brabus coupe though.
     
  3. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

    Messages:
    11,939
    Likes Received:
    1,059
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Washington State
    pics of the car you wanted to get? i've seen smart cars, just wondering if there is anything different.
     
  4. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage YEEAAAHHH VIP

    Messages:
    24,579
    Likes Received:
    696
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Central, MA
    they all look the same.
     
  5. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage YEEAAAHHH VIP

    Messages:
    24,579
    Likes Received:
    696
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Central, MA
  6. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

    Messages:
    11,939
    Likes Received:
    1,059
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Washington State
    $12k for that? pretty cool. i would actually consider getting one. what is the 1/4 mile time?

    steve, are you sure you can handle a car less than 20 years old?
     
  7. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    21,969
    Likes Received:
    146
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    No, that picture is the Roadster. I can GET a roadster, but registration is a real issue, it will be German grey market.

    The one I drove today is the "ForTwo", or known in goddam europe, chris, as the "TwoForTwo" (242, of course... the 4 door is the FourForFour (444). It's a cute naming convention.

    In the US, it's just the ForTwo, in it's "Pure" (Base) "Passion" (Loaded) and "Cab" (Cabriolet)
     
  8. MadMaXXX

    MadMaXXX Mad Man

    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    I thought you were getting a roadster too seeing as how you were talking about how the guy imports them.

    Good car if you have a hard time finding parking but imo pretty impractical.
     
  9. reckedracing

    reckedracing TTIWWOP VIP

    Messages:
    21,057
    Likes Received:
    1,180
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Location:
    NY
    whats run these things?
    they're good mileage right?
    and good safety?
     
  10. Airjockie

    Airjockie Watanabe Whore!!!

    Messages:
    11,238
    Likes Received:
    166
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Meriden, CT, USA
  11. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator VIP

    Messages:
    30,036
    Likes Received:
    3,970
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    last time i looked it was a < 1000cc turbocharged engine (600cc i think might have been made bigger for the US market)
    mileage is 50+ all fucking day (real world reported mileages none of this EPA bullshit mileage)
    and as for safety... yeah its pretty much a roll cage with doors and wheels

    70mph into a concrete barrier???

    YouTube - Smart crash test
     
  12. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    21,969
    Likes Received:
    146
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    E gets it, he usually does.

    It's a Yaris without a backseat. The trunk is the same size, practical only for the single person with no kids (Believe it or not, the passenger seat isn't too safe for a child seat, they tell you that at the dealer. If there is less than 110 pounds in the seat, the airbag is disabled)

    1000cc, but I'm not sure about turbo. If there was a turbo, it was a bore. It has 70hp, and it's pretty light.

    The acceleration is ok, but the transmission TOTALLY kills it for actually "going fast". It takes a lot to get used to, but during the testdrive I found that if I tapped the downshift paddle, then turned into the corner and floored it, the ass would kick out. So it is impressive, for what it is.

    Dealer EPA reports 35-40, which I don't believe either (Like E said, most people are getting 50+). The Yaris was rated EPA at 30-35, and it gets 28-32, which is disappointing for such a slug of a car. And the Yaris has such a lightweight flywheel that you have to double-pump or rev it up to leave your typical intersection, even without trying to hotdog it. The car is the stallinator.

    Oh, and to add to the transmission frustration: It actually lugs and bucks. Yeah, it's an auto that lugs itself. Luckily, I understand WHY it does this - the transmission is TINY and light. When you get better and better transmissions, they get larger and heavier. I find it's better to adapt than to bitch.

    The transmission is also a CVT, but it's not a CVT in practice. It's a CVT to get the easy maintainance, compact size and light weight. The actual shifting profiles are set in stone - so it's not "really" a CVT like you have driven (The HX Civic, for instance). It feels like a real 5 speed with sequential shift. The shifting takes place instantly, but the support action takes longer than it does if you give me a gate and a clutch pedal. In my first post, I was serious. I type fast it took less time for me to explain the action than it actually took to do it.

    Dealer also rates it at 90 mph top speed. The girl that was with me said she takes hers to 100 and it seems to go even further.

    Also, while I was on the highway a Semi tried to break my balls. But being on the highway normally on a 250 motorcycle didn't scare me at all, and I actually hit the brakes before I dove to the left lane and blew him away. He flinched.

    Mercedes definately knows what they are doing with this car, and it is NOT mass-produced (Again... necessarily). They promise to make only enough Smarts that are requested - which means that in the foreseeable future there will ALWAYS be a multi-month waiting period for one. When they build it, their build sheet has your name on it. You can even put in little comments like "Please sign the glovebox" or "Forget the defroster" or "Please give me AC brackets with no AC compressor" or my favorite "Please do not install radio or wiring". The options for the Smart are totally ala carte, with only one package created that is totally granular (The Comfort package, heated doo dads and shit)

    The whole process is neat, the car is neat, and it's very novel. But it's less of a car than my Yaris, and yet more desireable.
     
  13. totalburnout

    totalburnout Well-Known Member VIP

    Messages:
    7,068
    Likes Received:
    126
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2002
    Location:
    NJ
    "Perhaps the most extreme manifestation of the Continental drift in the U.S. market's tastes is Daimler AG's ultra-tiny Smart Fortwo (Read review). So far, about 1,800 Fortwos have been delivered in America. But another 30,000 customers have put down $99 through the company's Web site to reserve a Fortwo, according to a spokesman."
    Eyes on the Road - WSJ.com
    You probably can't link to the whole article unless you have a Wall Street Journal subscription, but as I was doing some research I came across a WSJ article that talks about how the U.S. market is beginning to see a trend of an influx of European cars, especially given the future plans announced at the Geneva Auto show.
     
  14. totalburnout

    totalburnout Well-Known Member VIP

    Messages:
    7,068
    Likes Received:
    126
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2002
    Location:
    NJ
    Americans have struggled since the beginning of the republic with how much to emulate European tastes in clothes and politics. When it came to cars, however, the U.S. market has had little in common with the Continent for most of the past 60 years. That could be about to change.


    Consider some of the cars featured at this week's New York Auto Show: Ford Motor Co. unveiled a prototype for a New York City taxi built on a van Ford sells in Europe called the Transit Connect. Company executives talked up their plans to bring several more European Fords to America, including the sharp looking Fiesta subcompact.

    General Motors Corp.'s Saturn brand is already offering some attractive Euro-designed models, among them a version of the Opel Astra compact car (Read review). Volkswagen AG, meanwhile, is touting plans to as much as triple its U.S. sales and may build a factory in the U.S. to do it. BMW AG just launched its compact 1-Series in the U.S., which has been on the market in Europe for more than a year. (The U.S. 1-Series is different. It's a coupe, not a hatchback.)


    In New York, Mercedes-Benz unveiled three models equipped with its "BlueTec" European diesel engines. Acura showed off a new TSX, which is essentially a European Honda Accord. Honda also featured a redesigned Fit minicar for the U.S. that is already sold in Europe as the Jazz. (See this funny German ad for the Jazz.)
    Perhaps the most extreme manifestation of the Continental drift in the U.S. market's tastes is Daimler AG's ultra-tiny Smart Fortwo (Read review). So far, about 1,800 Fortwos have been delivered in America. But another 30,000 customers have put down $99 through the company's Web site to reserve a Fortwo, according to a spokesman.



    (Nissan Motor Corp., separately, teased minicar fanciers with an electric prototype of its funky Cube car, which is a Japanese market model today, but will come to the U.S. in a year or two, after its next redesign.)

    [​IMG]Renault Renault's Kangoo It will be a long time, if ever, before a Belgian arriving in Chicago will look around and think, "Alors, they drive the same cars we do at home." There's no sign Americans are very excited about French cars, for instance. It's not likely that large Ford F-Series pickups or Chevy Silverados will vanish from American roads to be replaced by the wonky little car-trucks like Renault's Kangoo Express that European tradesmen use instead.


    Some new models in New York owed nothing to the Old World. Chrysler LLC's big noise was a rollout for its expanded lineup of Dodge Challengers, the latest entrant in the hunt for the spare dollars of graying boomers who missed muscle cars the first time around. Fans of another retro muscle car, the Chevy Camaro, will just have to be patient. Your car's still being readied by GM's Australian engineering team. But even with these muscle cars there are concessions to the new oil price environment: GM may consider offering a Camaro with a four-cylinder engine, while Chrysler is touting a version of the Challenger with a V6 motor.


    The tilt toward vehicles that seem European -- because they are compact, space efficient and powered by small displacement four-cylinder or diesel engines -- reflects several challenges confronting all auto makers that contend in the U.S. market.


    One's obvious. Gasoline prices in America are above $3 a gallon, and have hung around that level long enough that consumers are starting to shift their buying patterns. In early March, sales of vehicles with four-cylinder engines were on track to surpass sales of six-cylinder vehicles, reversing the recent trend, according to data from J.D. Power and Associates Power Information Network. Power data also shows a shift toward midsize and small cars away from larger vehicles such as SUVs.


    Sales of "lower small" cars such as the Toyota Yaris (a European Toyota) and the current Honda Fit were up 33.8% in the first two months of this year, according to Autodata figures. Honda Civic sales are up 14%. Large pickup sales are down 11.7%, and Toyota has just joined the Detroit brands in cutting production of its big Tundra pickup.


    Two other forces promise to keep pushing the U.S. market toward smaller and more efficient rides. One is regulation. Under the recent energy bill, auto makers have to boost the average fuel efficiency of their fleets to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, from 27.5 mpg today. That's going to require selling more hybrids, more diesels and many more small vehicles.


    The stronger force, however, is globalization, and the imperative to cut costs that goes with it.
    The U.S. market is now almost as fractured as Europe's, where a half dozen companies hold roughly comparable shares. The intensified competition for sales puts a big squeeze on profitability, as a glance at the financial statements of GM and Ford will attest. Now that America is again joining the ranks of countries where energy efficiency is important, it makes sense for Ford and GM to grab their relatively successful European mass market cars and adapt them for America, rather than develop America-only compact cars that may not be as appealing or as profitable.

    Jim Hall, managing director of automotive consulting firm 2953 Analytics, says what looks like a tilt toward European engineering and vehicle packaging is part of a more complex phenomenon.


    "It's not Europeanization. It's globalization. What we will end up looking like is China," he says. We will drive more cars the size of the current Ford Focus or Chevy Malibu, which over time will share fundamental engineering with European models. But the American mass market won't likely embrace European style hatchbacks or diesel power. That's because Americans, like the Chinese, prefer sedan body styles and gasoline engines, he says. What's more, Mr. Hall predicts our cars will be wider. You can guess why.
    This is evolution, not revolution. But it's uncommon to be able to see evolution taking place before your eyes. Right now in the American car business, you can.
     
  15. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

    Messages:
    11,939
    Likes Received:
    1,059
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Washington State
    i still like that roadster.

    i'll really consider it if i can find it. are they here in the U.S. or not? i'm confused.

    also, is it FWD?
     
  16. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator VIP

    Messages:
    30,036
    Likes Received:
    3,970
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    the roadster is not in the US
    all smarts are RR
     
  17. get_nick

    get_nick These snozzberries taste like snozzberries... VIP

    Messages:
    11,939
    Likes Received:
    1,059
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Washington State
    u.s. gets fucked again. lame
     
  18. E_SolSi

    E_SolSi Member of the 20 nut club Moderator VIP

    Messages:
    30,036
    Likes Received:
    3,970
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    everyone kinda got fucked on this one. smart stopped making the roadster and all of their other more interesting models so that they could focus on the ForTwo and redesigning it for the US market

    so its not just that we dont get the roadster... no one gets the roadster anymore... all because we got the ForTwo... :(

    blame it on all of the giant SUV driving fuckbags that make the roads unsafe for small efficient fun to drive cars
     
  19. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

    Messages:
    21,453
    Likes Received:
    2,117
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    0-60 in 14.4

    thats volvo 240dl territory :D
     
  20. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    21,969
    Likes Received:
    146
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    I just got word, I can get a Black on black roadster in 90 days, for $17k. The importer says that he has the tax stamp and new VIN plates for it, making it fully legal.

    I am now selling everything I own. I don't need $17k, but I do need out of one of my loans.

    Anyone want a bike ? CRX ? ANYTHING ?!
     
Verification:
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page