Friday, September 30, 2005

One tonne Challenge Driver's Safe Return Home

On August 28th, Keith Hebert set off from Victoria, BC on his cross-country smartcar Odyssey. He returned home yesterday with yet another challenge to face:

"I arrived in Abbotsford tonight at 9 pm.

I was greeted not more than 100 metres from the entrance to my condo by the absolute worst ‘pothole’ I’ve ever taken the car through. Right in the middle of the intersection of Ware Street and Old Yale Road the road had been ripped up - and there was NOT ONE sign put up or any indication of this work having been done. My car may have suffered damage from the 8 inch deep depression I went through - an inspection is now required on the vehicle for sure."

Read details of his journey including fuel consumption report here.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TORONTO. September 25th — Despite humid conditions, Kenyan Simon Bor ran 2:11:57 to win the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this morning, taking almost 3 minutes off the course record of 2:14:51, set last year in one of North America's most rapidly-growing new marathons.

Anastasia Ndereba took the women's title with a 2:36:29, ahead of Lucy Hasell of England in 2:38:09. Almost 10,000 runners from over 30 countries and 40 American states participated in the combined 42k, 21k, and 5k events. Nearly 25% of the marathon field of over 2,500 was made up of international runners.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Open Letter Regarding the Smart Car Americanized by ZAP®.

August 2005

Dear Representative:

In 1974, 35% of our oil came from outside the country; today 56% is from foreign sources. Our Country needs energy efficient cars.

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is "to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people." One of the primary purposes of the U.S. EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) is to "encourage travel choices that minimize emissions."

According to various test data, the Smart Car as Americanized by ZAP would be one of the most fuel-efficient cars ever offered for sale in the USA.

We need your help.

According to our information this vehicle has passed all requirements of both the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet, apparently due to unknown pressure, the EPA is apparently holding up the sale of these vehicles, which are exactly the type of vehicles the agency is suppose to encourage.

Please can you make inquiries and try to break through this unknown roadblock. ZAP has spent in excess of $10 million on this project and there are numerous jobs at stake. Furthermore, a vehicle that is as fuel efficient as the Smart Car would greatly help the environment and would also help make our Country more secure, by reducing reliance on foreign oil.

Over 700,000 Smart Cars have already been sold in 35 Countries. If it's good enough for 35 countries, why not the USA?

According to surveys over 100,000 Americans want to buy these energy efficient vehicles if they were available in the USA. Please lets make them available now.


Your constituents at ZAP!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

....but is it safe?

Most people understand the advantages of the smart fortwo's fuel economy. Many admire it's funky design but the skeptics still ask, "...but is it safe?".

View the crash test video clips here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

nightrun and truestyle

The smart fortwo nightrun combines the entry level pure trim with the exclusive "sportiness" of the BRABUS line. Powered by a 74 bhp BRABUS engine, the nightrun has been built for customers interested in superior performance and a high degree of comfort and customisation. The select range of BRABUS accessories includes 16" alloy wheels, sports exhaust, leather steering wheel with paddleshift, and dashboard instruments, in addition to air conditioning, fog lights, and glass roof.

The smart fortwo truestyle is based on the 61 bhp version of the fortwo coupe and cabrio. Available in pure trim, the high standard specification includes an exclusive metallic paint colour, ruby red, and the package offers customers outstanding value for money.
fortwo coupe nightrun £10,425 otr [$19,106 USD]
fortwo coupe truestyle £7,495 otr [$13,744 USD]
fortwo cabrio truestyle £9,240 otr [$16,944 USD]
Jeremy Simpson, Head of smart in the UK and Ireland, said: "One of the characteristics of smart customers is that they like to be seen as individuals and express this through their choice of car. These two exciting new special editions add even more choice for those who want to join in with the smart brand."

The smart range is available from smart retailers, starting from £6,810 otr.

Monday, September 26, 2005

the smart that never was: formore

DaimlerChrysler confirmed today it has cancelled development of the Smart Formore 4x4 and will cease production of the Roadster at the end of the year.
The Smart Formore compact 4x4 had been specifically designed to launch the brand in the USA.
These shock decisions are part what the DaimlerChrysler board described as part of a new business model for the Smart brand, with the apparent intention of giving the company a sound financial basis and achieving break-even in 2007.
Development will instead focus on creating a successor to the current Fortwo for which Smart is best known, which will eventually be introduced in the US. A new generation three-cylinder petrol engine will be sold to other manufacturers as part of the new development programme.
Despite dumping its stake in Mitsubishi, DC has vowed to continue to work with the Japanese car maker on for the Forfour.
A plan to cut costs by 30 percent with two years will also sees Smart's development, sales, aftersales and servicing operations integrated into the existing Mercedes-Benz network. Workforce reductions will occur, although more Smart sales outlets, including those within MB dealerships, are being considered.

Source: 01-04-2005

Sunday, September 25, 2005

smartist Phillip Sokazo

Phillip Sokazo Biography

1960 Born in Toulouse in 1962, raised in a family of musicians and art collectors between Paris and the French Riviera.

1980 After studying Ethnology at the University of Toulouse, is accepted into the prestigious Beaux-Arts School in Paris yet soon decides to seize an opportunity to live in Miami where he works for Teen Magazine as Art Director. He holds the first public exhibition of his paintings there, before travelling the world for inspiration: New York, London, Prague, Madrid, Bombay...

1990 Back in Europe, his work is presented in various galleries and museums along side world-renowned artists like Alechinsky, Chilida, Riopelle and Matsutani of the Japenese Gutai Movement; all endorse Philippe's style and professionalism.

2000 Challenged by the Industry to apply his Art to manufactured luxury objects, such as jewellery, sculpted rugs, cement tiles, cigar humidors, wine bottles, fashion apparels and cars... these objects become part of the Sokazo World and are shown together with paintings in travelling exhibitions.

Settles in British Columbia in 2005 where he found new inspiration, light and energy.

Saturday, September 24, 2005



Bidding has begun! Place a bid on the Fringe Smart car!

The Fringe Festival is driving a new trend in Vancouver and one lucky person will drive it home! The Vancouver Fringe Festival, in collaboration with smart Canada, a Division of Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. and internationally- recognized painter and designer Philippe Sokazo, is proud to present the Fringe smart car.

New to BC, Sokazo brings his success with smart car Paris to Vancouver. Sokazo has created a unique smart fortwo cdi car design especially for the Fringe. Inspired by our city’s beauty, Sokazo entitled the smart fortwo car Pacific Spirits in Motion.

Read more about it here.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Business smarts 10: Telelatino

TLN Television offers a variety of domestic and international programming in Italian, Spanish and English to 3.5 million households across Canada. TLN is majority owned by Corus Entertainment. Corus Entertainment is a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in both specialty TV and Radio. Corus' assets include 52 radio stations, four of Canada's leading specialty television networks, Canada's western pay-TV business and five digital channels. Corus also owns Nelvana Limited, one of the world's largest international producers and distributors of children's programming and products. The company's other interests include music, television broadcasting and advertising services. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York (CJR) Exchanges. Corus' Web site can be found at Other shareholders of TLN include prominent members of the Italian Canadian business community.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


The smart fortwo purestyle is available as a fortwo coupé or a fortwo cabrio, with a 45 kW (61 bhp) petrol engine or a 30 kW (41 bhp) diesel engine. The smart fortwo purestyle offers customers looking for a vehicle with lifestyle appeal lots of fun behind the wheel coupled with an attractive price/performance ratio.
The smart fortwo purestyle has a black tridion safety cell, bodypanels in jack black, exclusive alloy wheels with a machine-polished surface and glossy deep black paintwork. The exclusive appearance is emphasised by bicolour rear lights, side indicators in white and black interior contrast components.
The leather steering wheel, leather gear knob, clock and rev counter provide for a sporty feel in the interior. Air conditioning is also included in the standard spec. The smart audio package, a further standard feature, provides a high-quality musical backdrop.
The petrol-engine variants cost € 10,950 and € 13,650 respectively in Germany and the diesel variants are available at a price of € 11,700 and € 14,400 (prices refer to the fortwo coupé and the fortwo cabrio).
The smart fortwo purestyle will be presented to the general public at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt/Main (12 - 25 September 2005).

See source.

Business smarts 9: All Penny Stocks

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

smart: greater market share despite segment’s overall decline

Stuttgart, Germany, September 06, 2005

"In contrast to the small car segment’s current market decline, smart was able to boost sales substantially in the first eight months of the year, posting an increase of about eleven percent. Worldwide deliveries rose to more than 93,400 vehicles.
In August, sales were primarily driven by the smart fortwo. Boosted by the very positive response to the limited edition smart fortwo ‘purestyle’, incoming orders for this model were already very high within a few weeks after the vehicle’s announcement and before its official presentation at the IAA.
The smart forfour was also able to further increase its share of the stagnating small car market. In Germany, for example, the four-seater expanded its market share of the relevant segment by about two percentage points, clearly demonstrating its competitiveness."

Source: Daimler Chrysler

Business smarts 8: The Beaton Group

The Beaton Group
Fine Furniture
334 king street east
toronto, on m5a 1k8

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Transport Canada Assessing the smart forfour

From: Annette Lloyd Thomas []
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 7:11 AM
To: atvp_pvtp
Subject: ATVP Vehicle Fleet

I would like to know whether there is any truth to the rumour that Transport Canada is currently evaluating the smart forfour with a view to granting type approval. Unfortunately, the 2004 ATVP fleet information is not available on the website. Thank you for your help.

Annette Lloyd Thomas

Reply sent: Tue 09/20/05 13:17

Ms. Lloyd:
The Smart ForFour is part of Transport Canada's Advanced Technology Vehicles Program (ATVP). Transport Canada has established the ATVP to look at available and soon to be available advanced vehicles and technologies not seen on our roads. These vehicles are being assessed to determine their impact on safety, energy efficiency and the environment.
Transport Canada is looking at the Smart ForFour for its technology and has been able to import this vehicle under condition that it return to its country of origin or be destroyed after testing is complete.
Transport Canada does not approve vehicles for import into Canada. It verifies the conformity of vehicles being offered for sale in the country. It remains in the hands of the manufacturer to one-day design a version of this vehicle for Canadian roads.
The ATVP is also examining other advanced technologies. Vehicles with advanced powertrains, materials, chassis designs, emission controls, fuels, controls and displays and other technologies are poised for introduction over the next decade. New technologies are constantly being developed and will be examined via the ATVP.


Business smarts 7: Blackies Storage

"Whether you are looking for a place to store your antique or classic car, your boat or watercraft, your camper or what have you, we have the solution for you.
If you are looking for a place to keep your precious belongings until your new home is ready, or you just don't have enough room for everything, we have the solution for you.

At Blackie's we have been in the storage business since 1986, specializing in the storage of fine automobiles, boats, and what have you. In the summer of 2003 we erected a brand new building exclusively for the storage of your household and personal belongings"

Monday, September 19, 2005

smart scuttlebutt

There is speculation that Transport Canada is looking at the smart forfour with a view to approving it for sale in Canada. Their website is of no help as the information is out-of-date. The bureaucrats take our money but like to keep us in the dark.

The smart crosstown has recently been unveiled as a concept vehicle in Frankfurt. With its hybrid powertrain it is not thought to be destined for production. But is the body style of the crosstown the shape of things to come? Is it a clue to the replacement of the fortwo? The removable windshield and external hinges may point to a future under the Jeep brand. By the way, the USB and PDA ports in the crosstown should soon become standard features on most vehicles.

'smart's Roadster and Roadster Coupé have been given a stay of execution until the end of 2006. The two models were due to be axed at the end of 2005, but will now remain on sale in the UK throughout next year.
A spokesman for the company said 400 more cars will ship to the UK next year, and added: "As soon as we announced production was to stop, demand increased by 30 per cent."' Source:
Rumor has it that the roadster will live on as the Dodge Slingshot in the US. Daimler Chrysler may wish to exploit their investment in smart by marketing the vehicles under different Chrysler brands keeping smartville and the engine factory at Marienfelde in Berlin working closer to capacity

Sunday, September 18, 2005

smart Centre Mississauga Meet

The weather couldn't have been nicer and the atmosphere couldn't have been friendlier as over 25 smart car owners gathered in Port Credit today. We had a great time chatting with smart enthusiasts and ogling their cars. Many thanks to smart specialists and hosts Justin Sookraj and Edward Garcia. We hope that this will become an annual event.

Business smarts 6: The Pita Pit

Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch? Many thanks to John Elizee Owner/Operator of The Pita Pit in Port Credit for providing a tasy lunch to smart car owners and their family/friends at the smart Centre Mississauga Meet. His friendly staff served up tasty, fresh pitas that are a healthy alternative to fast food. See their menu here.

The Pita Pit
51 Lakeshore Road East,
Port Credit,ON L5G 1C9

905 891 6271

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Viper vs smart

10+ smarts = 1 Viper engine displacement (8300 cc)
12+ smarts = 1 Viper HP (500 bhp)
9 smarts = 1 Viper fuel economy (premium FYI) (8 mpg)
2 smarts = 1 Viper weight (1526 kg)
Both 2 seaters.
Both are 6 speeds.
Base price: Viper SRT10 Convertible $125 000
smart pure $ 16 700
Funk factor of smart fortwo: priceless
(With thanks to Rich Helms)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Business smarts 5: Hy-Grade Roofing

Hy-grade Steel Roofing Systems
Kingsville, ON

- All Canadian Product
- 50 Year Warranty
- 7 standard colours
- Installs over roof
- Environmentally friendly

Thursday, September 15, 2005

smarter by the dozen

We met up with club smart car members at Mapleview Shopping Centre in Burlington last night. Unfortunately on the night of the season's final meet, sponsored by the Burlington Central Lions Club, it was pouring rain. Several "hard core" classic car enthusiasts and 13 smart car owners showed up so it wasn't a wash out. It was great to see the smart "tuners" in action. We met James Gillam of Smartimes magazine and enjoyed chatting with the owners of Grunty, Gina and other smarts.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

New stuff: Smart Crosstown points way to the future

Check out this story from the Frankfurt Motor Show 2005 from

smart at the IAA: showcar crosstown

Frankfurt/Main, 09/13/2005
- smart has a surprise in store for visitors to this year's Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA): the world premiere of the smart crosstown show car. Though there's no denying its close relationship to the smart fortwo, this show car seems to have been designed with quite different uses in mind. However one thing is clear: the smart crosstown demonstrates just how much is possible on the basis of the smart fortwo, and shows that the fortwo's unique concept still harbours a great deal of potential.Its close relationship to the ultra-short two-seater can be seen not least in the compact dimensions.
With features such as a stowaway windscreen, the smart crosstown seems at first to have much in common with an off-roader. However, it is on the streets of the big city (although not exclusively) that it feels most at home. In other words, the smart crosstown has the same area of application as the smart fortwo. But there's a difference: because of the puristic way in which the vehicle concept has been interpreted, this car turns every drive into an urban jungle adventure.

Old stuff: MCC smart Introduces Diesel-electric Hyper

By EV World,
Published: 15-Sep-2001
First look at MCC smart hyper diesel-electric hybrid prototype.

This week at the Frankfurt International Auto Show in Germany, MCC smart unveiled a prototype vehicle that combines a small diesel engine that powers the front wheels and a Zytek-built electric drive system that powers the rear wheels.
Dubbed the smart hyper (a contraction of hybrid and performance), the vehicle utilizes a twin-drive system similar to that in the forthcoming Dodge Durango HEV. But unlike DaimlerChrysler's "Through-the-Road" hybrid in which there is no mechanical or electrical linkage between the gasoline engine and the electric motor, the twin drive systems of the hyper smart system are electronically interlocked.
The concept involves allowing the electric drive system to propel the vehicle in low speed situations with the diesel engine off, in order to save fuel and reduce emissions. The diesel also is automatically shut off and turned back on, as needed.
The electric drive also operates momentarily as the manual transmissions electrically shifts gears, in effect creating the equivalency of an automatic transmission, but without the efficiency losses. The Zytek designed-system can supply up to 20 kilowatts of power for brief periods of time, giving the car a short but, as yet, unrevealed ZEV range.
To improve the safety of the hybrid-propulsion unit, the electric drive automatically disconnects in the event of a crash, thus preventing short circuits. In addition, should the air-cooled batteries and controllers or liquid-cooled motor begin to overheat, these systems also automatically shut down. In this event, the car can operate solely on its diesel engine.
MCC smart asserts that in this hybrid configuration, the tiny, two-passenger vehicle performs more smoothly than either the standard diesel version or the gasoline version with an automatic transmission. The car also incorporates regenerative braking which engineers calculate recaptures some 6% of the energy typically lost. This is accomplished through the electric motor, which acts as a generator during braking.
The new hyper system adds some 85 kilograms to the curb weight of the vehicle. MCC smart has not, as yet, made a decision on series production.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Smart car provides glimpse into future

Mercedes might seem like an oddball amid muscle cars, but it's here to stay

CanWest News Service
September 12, 2005
I'm slowly motoring past Detroit's Einstein Bros. Bagels near the corner of Woodward and Harvard on a humid Saturday evening. A fiftysomething man, parked in a lawn chair, spots my little two-seater convertible and abruptly stops chomping into his bagel.
"Oh, noooo!" he gasps, clutching his chest in mock agony.
Did I mention I was ensconced within a 2005 Smart for two Cabriolet?
On virtually any given day, there would be nothing wrong with getting about town via a Smart car, the miraculous gas miser Mercedes brought to Canada - but not the U.S. -last year. This alone makes the Smart car an anomaly: Usually, it's Canadians who are deprived of certain models, such as the new Pontiac GTO and Toyota's entire Scion lineup.
But on this Saturday, the 11th annual Woodward Dream Cruise was taking place, an event that attracts more than 40,000 classic cars to Detroit's boulevard of broken dreams. And in such a setting, the Smart car came across as even more of a fish out of water.

Read the full article here.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2005

Monday, September 12, 2005

Business smarts 4: Bruce Murray

Bruce Murray
Sutton partners realty inc.
An Independent Member Broker

SPECIALIZING IN: Riverdale, Beaches, East York, Downtown Toronto.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Business smarts 3: Steve's Diesel

Steve's Diesel: Your one stop for all your diesel needs

1800 Maple Grove Road South
Bowmanville, Ontario
L1C 3K3, Canada

"With our factory trained technicians, we can provide our customer's with a total fuel injection & turbo service. Also, our on-site licenced technicians can provide quality workmanship for the removal and installation of turbos, fuel pumps and injectors."

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Street Classics Car Cruise

On our way to Street Classics Cruise night, at the Canadian Tire,1608 Queensway at East Mall in Etobicoke, a TTC bus driver spots our smart car and yells out of the window, "I gotta get me one of those". There's a good turn out at the cruise and it's still "shorts weather" this evening. The show continues on Saturday nights from 5 to dusk until 2 October. We notice they're not playing their usual oldies music and have opted for classic country. Hot dog vendor Mike is promising me a veggie dog before they pack up for the season.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Zetsche Takes Mercedes Helm - optimistic about smart

National Post
Friday Sept 9, 2005

'Dieter Zetsche, Daimler-Chrysler's designated chief executive officer, expressed confidence in the future of the loss-making Smart car as he took control of Mercedes Car Group last week.
"I am extraordinarily optimistic that Mercedes Car Group is on a fast track...I am equally optimistic that we will make progress with Smart along the way," he said from the company's Frankfurt Germany head office.'

'Some analysts suggest pulling the plug on Smart, which has not made a profit since its 1998 debut and is slated to break even in 2007, despite job cuts and narrowing of the city car's model lineup. It lost nearly 4,000 euros on each car sold last year.'

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Brain of smarts

The trip up to Haugen's Famous Chicken and Ribs Barbeque was well worth the two hour drive. This Port Perry area landmark hosts Wednesday night "Cruise-ins" open to classic cars (pre 1980) and special interest cars (at their discretion due to limited parking). A friendly lady in a poodle skirt greeted us warmly with draw ticket and flyer and said, "I guess you want to join the others, they are around the back". Neatly parked side by side were six other smart fortwos including that of "One Tonne Challenge" driver, Keith Hebert. It was great to meet him and other club smart car forum folk. Many thanks to the Helms family for their kind hospitality.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

History of smart: Roadster

The sporty smart roadster, launched in 2003 has many features in common with both the fortwo and forfour.(tridion, changable body panels, ESP - electronic stability program, SOFTOUCH transmission).

"The smart roadster and roadster-coupé are meant to be reminiscent of the old British roadsters such as the Triumph Spitfire and MG-B. Powered by a 64 or 80 bhp turbo inline 3, the small peppy engine is designed to move this roadster along at a brisk pace (it only weighs 1760+ pounds). It is meant to be a cheap, simple roadster like the roadsters of lore. The production of the roadster and roadster-coupe will end by 2005." See source.

"The smart roadster-coupé's TRIDION safety cell is available in silver or alternatively in black at no extra charge. The bodypanels are available in the colours jack black, shine yellow and spice red. The colours champagne remix, star blue and glance grey are available for an extra charge. The interior of the smart roadster-coupé is available in the colours scribble black or scribble grey, or, for an extra charge, in black leather. A soft top is available as an option in addition to the high-gloss hardtop." See source.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

History of smart: forfour

"The forfour is a new model introduced in 2004. Unlike its little "brother", this is a more conventional car, a real compact-segment hatchback with a roomy interior, and four- or five-seater configuration.
The car is produced at the NedCar factory in the Netherlands in conjunction with Mitsubishi Motors. To save production costs, the smart forfour shares most of its components with the 2003 Mitsubishi Colt, including chassis, suspensions and a new generation of MIVEC petrol engines, three- and four-cylinder, ranging from 1.1 to 1.5 L. The 1.5 L cdi diesel engine, on the contrary, is a three-cylinder Mercedes-Benz engine derived from the four-cylinder of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. A Brabus-prepared sports version is available since 2005."

See source.

It seems that the forfour's days are numbered according to BusinessWeek Online, August 15, 2005

"Dark Days at Daimler Jürgen Schrempp leaves behind a Mercedes beset by quality and profit woes. Now, Dieter Zetsche must take drastic measures to save the marriage with Chrysler -- or engineer a breakup"
"Progress may come faster as Zetsche tackles the urgent problems facing the Smart minicar unit, launched with great fanfare by Schrempp in 1998. Smart will cost Mercedes $1.4 billion in restructuring costs this year alone. On top of that, it has lost an estimated $3.6 billion since its launch and will not break even before 2007, racking up $600 million in losses this year. The original two-seater Fortwo never hit the company's sales targets, and subsequent derivatives like the unpopular Forfour sold only 40,000 units last year -- well off Mercedes' planned-for production of 150,000. Without a family of models, it will be hard for the Smart to break even. Still, analysts say Zetsche should pull the plug on the Forfour, even though that would generate a huge earnings hit from compensation payments to suppliers for their investments, or seek a partner."

Read the full article here.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Sushi smart

A version of the smart fortwo has been much modified to meet the Japanese Kei car specifications. The width has been reduced from 1.51 metres to 1.47 metres. The roof is solid and front grill black. The smart k is available in lite white, phat red, jack black and star blue.

"The smart k accounts for a major proportion of the [smart car] sales in Japan, and 2,128 smart k cars were delivered in the first half of the year [2002]. MCC smart is the only foreign manufacturer to import such a vehicle into Japan.

The smart k complies with the requirements for so-called lightweight vehicles in Japan (Japanese: kei-jidousha), making it substantially less expensive than a conventional vehicle with regard to insurance and tax. Furthermore, in some cases the smart k is exempted from the usual requirement in Japanese towns and cities to provide proof of a parking space."

See source.

Unlike Canadians, the Japanese can buy a full range of smart vehicles: fortwo coupé, fortwo k, fortwo cabrio, crossblade, BRABUS, roadster, roadster coupé. The fortwo coupé currently retails for ¥ 1,543,500.00 which is equal to $16,781.22 CAD.

For more details see smart's Japanese site English translation.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

History of smart: fortwo

Our first smart car in Brightling, England.

We bought a 2000 all-black passion in 2001 from a smart dealer in Dusseldorf, Germany and drove back to England where it lived for three years.

"fortwo is the original smart model that was launched in 1998 as City Coupe. The name fortwo was introduced when smart began to produce new models. The car is intended primarily for urban use, powered by small petrol or diesel engines. It is light (740 kg) thanks to its reinforced steel shell with plastic body panels. The smart car's length (2.5 m) means that two smarts can share a parking bay.

The car is popular in Europe and Japan. There is a Japan-only variant called the smart K which is the only non-Japanese car that fulfills the regulations for Keicars. On 26 June 2002, smart fortwo was exhibited at the new MoMA Queens ( for the first time. It is the only model that is still in production today. Although one of the cars is an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, the car is not available in the USA. It was introduced in Canada as a 2005 model in September 2004.

Electric vehicle manufacturer Zap plans to import smart fortwos from a German dealer and modify them for sale in the United States in 2005."


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Happy to be buying diesel

We paid $1.059/litre for diesel this evening at a Sunoco station on the Queensway near Royal York Road. They were pumping gas at $1.269 so, once again, we are thankful that Canadian smart cars run on diesel.

for the best prices in the GTA.

History of smart: smartville

We visited Smartville, Hambach, France July 2000

"The smart production plant on the Europôle de Sarreguemines industrial estate in France, about 30 kilometers south of Saarbrücken (Germany), is one of the most modern car plants in the world. The plant, which was completed in October 1997, covers an area of 68 hectares. smartville is operated by MCC France SAS, in which DaimlerChrysler AG has a 75 percent holding. The second shareholder is the French state-owned company SOFIREM (Société Financière pour favoriser l'Industrialisation des Régions Minières) with a holding of 25 percent."

See source.

The smart fortwo is manufactured at Smartville, a purpose-built factory complex in Hambach, France, established in 1994 as a joint-venture of Daimler-Benz and the Swiss watch manufacturer Swatch.

The project was originally supported by Swatch, and was nicknamed the "Swatchmobile". The car was supposed to use innovative features (such as hybrid engine) and to be an affordable car for young people. Its purpose was to "transport two people and a case of beer" (later replaced by a case of water).

Being inexperienced in automobiles, Swatch CEO Nicolas Hayek sought an established car maker to produce his Swatch car, and found a partner in Volkswagen. Plans never reached a final stage so Swatch teamed up with Daimler-Benz. The car proved to be far from expectations: technology was conventional and it was more expensive than most small 4-seater cars sold in Europe. The joint venture experienced heavy losses and Swatch pulled out.

In 2005, DaimlerChrysler decided against purchasing a 50% share in the NedCar plant used to manufacture the forfour. DC also halted development on the formore.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Smart Way to Travel Famous Route 66

Sussex Express, Friday September 2, 2005

A Lewes man has shown Americans that size isn't everything.
Former Tanners Brook resident Rupert Lloyd Thomas, with his Lewes wife Annette, has driven the smallest car the US has ever seen across the 2,300 miles of Route 66 - and more.
Rupert and Annette missed the Smart car they had in Lewes when they went to live in Canada four years ago.
So when it was recently launched in Canada they bought a diesel version.
Said Rupert, 54, best known as a presenter on Rocket FM, the Lewes independent radio station:
'Here's the setup: Drive the smallest Smart car down old-time Route 66 in the US of A to see the good old boys and find out what we make of each other.
'The trip is a kind of antidote to gas-guzzling in the land of pickup trucks, where a car like ours is not available.
'In the faded suburb of Cicero an old black man pulls alongside at a stoplight – “I like your car man” – the smart is an instant ice-breaker.
Folk are intrigued and enchanted although some are laughing at the car so much that they cannot speak.
'The message is that 50 miles a US gallon is possible and most people get the message.'
Adds Rupert: 'We are mobbed everywhere we go.
'A lot of women think the car is cute. In Gallup, New Mexico, a Navajo woman is practically in tears because she wants the car so badly.
'We make common cause with the bikers who are hip to our minimalist approach and tend to come alongside at campsites.
'At the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas, half way along Route 66, and the lady owner rushes out to photograph our little fellow in front of her sign.
'We see endless freight trains, each with up to four diesel engines, pulling double-stacked container cars. The train whistle is the signature tune of the tour coupled with the background music of American country radio.
'We cross the Continental Divide at 7,245ft and tackle the Mojave Desert in daylight.The Smart takes everything thrown at it.
'The trip balloons in the planning and eventually we cover 8,984 miles in 35 days, heading home via the Pacific Coast Highway and the Trans-Canada.'

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Driving Smart: Smart in town and unique in country

The Toronto Sun, 12 February, 2005
By Rich Helms

I ordered my Smart car in February 2004, finalized my feature selections in October and took delivery this January. The Smart is a minimalist's dream -- and a study in original design. As an example, the driver's seat is situated forward of the passenger's seat. The passenger-side floor area is about one foot closer than the driver's, because the battery and tire repair kit are housed in that front space. The result is that the passenger sits farther back. There are advantages to this set-up that are not obvious at first. The driver's view out the right window is clear, and elbows don't interfere during shifting.

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