Monday, October 31, 2005

Coast to Coast in a Smart Fortwo

It was during an editorial meeting at Le Guide de l'Auto that this idea was selected out of many other proposals. It was January 2005, and we would have never dreamt that such a fuel crisis would touch the world a few months later. Our goal was to simply show that a micro car such as the smart could travel from sea to shining sea in a normal time frame, using less than $300 worth of fuel, as claimed by the vehicle manufacturer.

Mercedes-Benz Canada, the importer and distributor of smart in Canada, provided us with a vehicle. And don't think that this car was specially modified for us. Due to a logistical error, the original vehicle was unavailable and we were provided with a replacement vehicle at the last minute.

To read about this cross-Canada tour go here.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Long distance smarts

Keith Hebert of Abbotsford, BC, & Rupert Lloyd Thomas at Haugen's Classic Car Cruise-in, near Port Perry, ON.

Have Smart,will Travel

Exerpt from The Toronto Sun, Saturday October 29, 2005
By Rich Helms
Everyone knows the Smart car is an urban car designed for scooting around the city---well, everyone except those of us who do long-distance trips in our Smarts. Why not take a conventional car? I guess for the same reason people travel on motorcyles. My Smart is a green-on-green Pulse Cabrio--a unique car calls for an outrageous colour scheme. One result of this look is that the car never fails to bring a smile to your face.
My new heroes are Keith Hebert (, who drove Victoria to St. John's and back (16,344 km averaging 3.63 L/100km, or 78mpg); and Rupert Lloyd-Thomas and his wife Annette, who did Toronto to Chicago, followed route 66 to California, up to B.C. and back to Toronto(14,500 km) (
Since getting my Smart car on January 15, 2005, I have visited 13 states and logged 30,000 km, including trips to Cleveland, Ohio: Long Island, N.Y.; Raleigh, N.C.; Bentonville, Ark. This mileage over the course of nine months may not sem like a lot to people who commute to Toronto from the suburbs, but I live only minutes from my office.

My favourite comeback for the negative comments about the car was in Long Island, N.Y., when gas was $3.50 to $4 a gallon. I was stopped at a light, and had the top down. A man pulled up beside me in a large older car, laughed out loud and in a booming voice proclaimed, "That is the stupidest car I have ever seen." I turned and asked him if he had filled up with gas that day. "Yep, $70 worth," he answered. I replied, " I filled up, too. Cost me $12. Whose car's stupid now?"

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Hemi smart

Hemi (from "hemisphere") is a design of internal-combustion engines in which the cylinder head's combustion chamber is of hemispherical form. The term, "Hemi engine", is a trademark of Chrysler Corporation, though the concept is used by many manufacturers.

The chamber design puts the intake/exhaust valves in-line, rather than side-by-side, allowing for better flow of air through the head. The spark plug in the center of the chamber makes for better ignition of the fuel/air mixture. These aspects help make the hemi-type engine more efficient and powerful.


See the official Daimler Chrysler's Hemi site here.

Friday, October 28, 2005

smart fortwo cabriolet travels 6,587 km from Victoria to Halifax on $268 of diesel fuel

(October 26, 2005)

Toronto -- Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz Canada was approached by a Montreal editor representing an automotive publication with the idea of driving a smart fortwo across the country. While this had already been achieved by Transport Canada when they were doing long-term testing on the smart before the car was certified, it had never been done by a third party non-biased publication. Mercedes-Benz Canada liked the concept and agreed to provide them the car for the cross-country trek.

The publication in question was “Le Guide de l’Auto” and their proposed story outline was to prove that the smart fortwo could travel coast-to-coast across more than 6,500 kilometres on less than $300 of fuel. Editor Denis Duquet assigned driver Guy Desjardins and his co-pilot and navigator Lucienne Chénard to undertake this crossing. They embarked on their ten-day journey in Victoria. The smart cabriolet was a standard production vehicle and was in no way specially modified for this trip.

Read more here.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

In an accident, the smart fortwo's solid construction provides structural integrity, but it is the many passive safety features that truly protect the passengers.

Dual front and side air bags.
All models are equipped with standardfull-size front air bags. In addition, the fortwo, unlike many of its competitors, comes standard with side air bags for enhanced protection from side impactIn an accident, the smart fortwo's solid construction provides structural integrity, but it is the many passive safety features that truly protect the passengers.

Internal safety distance.

Even with the smart fortwo's compact design, the driver and passenger sit well back in the vehicle, distanced from the effects of a front impact.
Collapsible steering column.
In the event of a serious front-end collision, the steering column will retract telescopically out of harm’s way.

Read about the fortwo's passive and active safety features on there official Canadian website here.

Life-saving innovation celebrates milestone anniversary: airbag first introduced as standard at Mercedes-Benz 25 years ago

Stuttgart, 10/27/2005 - It is now 25 years since the first production car to be fitted with an airbag, an S-Class Saloon, rolled off the production line at Mercedes Benz in Sindelfingen – the culmination of over 13 years of development work and the beginning of a new era in vehicle safety. According to accident research, the airbag has saved over 14,200 human lives in the USA to date; in Germany, meanwhile, the airbag has prevented over 2,500 fatal injuries to car occupants since 1990. Mercedes-Benz offered the airbag long before any other car manufacturer and has so far equipped more than twelve million vehicles with this safety innovation. It has been fitted as standard in all passenger cars displaying the Mercedes star since October 1992. In recent years, Mercedes engineers have continued to develop airbag technology, for example by introducing side airbags and systems that adapt in line with the severity of the accident. Airbags are also set to become an integral part of the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system, equipped with new, anticipatory sensors which will enable them to deploy in advance of a possible accident so as to reduce the forces exerted on the car occupants both before and during any impact. For the same reasons, the airbags of the future will also take into account individual parameters such as the body size, sex and age of the occupants.
Read more here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Smart Car, dumb driver:Red-faced Ralph blows through 'pink' light

The Edmonton Sun October 20, 2005
Alberta's premier took a turn driving an energy-conserving Smart Car yesterday, but apparently the car isn't smart enough to stop at red lights.
Ralph Klein, who was driving the $16,000 Mercedes-built automobile with Environment Minister Guy Boutilier as his passenger, admitted that he inadvertently zoomed through a light on his way from Government House to the Legislature.
"Unfortunately I was so enthralled with the car that I went through a pink light - you know, that sort of yellow and red?" he explained.
Two Sun photographers witnessed Klein's traffic faux pas. David Bloom and Preston Brownschlaigle were following Klein and Boutilier east along Jasper Avenue, when the politicians had to stop behind a car that was parallel parking.
The photographers continued past and stopped for a red light at 116 Street.
"I turned around in the seat to shoot back on an approaching Klein," said Brownschlaigle. "The light changed to red and as I was waiting for the Smart Car to arrive next to us and take a picture, Klein blew past us through the red light."
Klein said the intersection was equipped with a red-light enforcement camera "so I might be getting a ticket, who knows? Or Guy will, anyway."
In fact, the red-light camera was positioned to catch southbound vehicles running the light.
Boutilier defended the premier's driving, telling the Sun photographers that Klein was having a little trouble getting used to the unique gear shift which switches back and forth between automatic and standard.
Read full article here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

smart celebrates its first anniversary in Canada with 4,000 sales

October 20, 2005
TORONTO -- In February 2004, Mercedes-Benz Canada announced at the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) that it would start selling two smart models in Canada by the end of the year. In early October 2004, smart was launched in Canada. A year later, in October 2005, more than 4,000 smart fortwo coupés and cabriolets have been delivered across the country. This amount is more than three times the initial planned volume.
President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada, Marcus Breitschwerdt said, “smart took the world by storm in 1998 when it was first introduced in Europe. Over the course of the next few years, the smart models caused a sensation everywhere they were launched after that. North America was the last frontier and Mercedes-Benz Canada stepped up to the challenge last year. Our astonishing success proves without any doubt that our insights were accurate but more importantly, it confirms that the Canadian market was indeed more than ready for this type of intelligent and revolutionary mobility.”
He further added, “The smart fortwo is cool and Canadians really like it. It’s interesting to note that smart has, in the last year, outsold several longer established vehicles in varied categories.”

Read the full article here.


Third-year studio architecture students presented their proposed dealership building designs to a representative of ZAP, a California company that modifies the high-mileage, environmentally-friendly European import for use in the U.S. Many students, faculty, and staff showed their interest and support by gathering at Crown Hall, October 19, to view the projects and an actual SMART car.

Although a wide array of approaches were considered, many student proposals incorporated sustainable design into ZAP’s business plan to create a technologically-advanced transportation dealership.

“This is an exciting opportunity; it’s not often that students get the chance to present their work for the consideration of corporate executives,” said Studio Professor Tom Brock.

ZAP, which produces its own zero pollution-emitting vehicles, has exclusive rights to import and modify the SMART Car for American road use and will be considering the student designs for their first North American dealership.

“We’re grateful that Tom Brock has chosen this exercise for his students,” said Alex Campbell, ZAP’s director of marketing. “Not only do they learn about future transportation, but they are helping our pioneering efforts in this area.”

Currently, only 10 SMART Cars are on North American roads; one, driven by Rupert Lloyd-Thomas from his home in Toronto, was at Crown Hall while the student projects were being reviewed.

(Note: What continent do they think Canada is in? Or do they mean to say American roads? )

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Tiny tires time

Parking spots just for Smart cars? Are half-price car washes next?

October 06, 2005
The subcompact city of Duncan, B.C. is home to "the world's largest hockey stick" -- and 12 of the world's smallest parking spaces. The hockey stick -- 62.48 m long -- dominates an entire wall of the local community centre. You'd think a city of almost 5,000, blessed with such an outsized piece of lumber, would have nothing else to prove, but Duncan is a forward-looking place. It has seen the future, and it is the Smart car -- an automobile so abbreviated it would take 25 of them lined bumper-to-bumper just to carry the world's longest hockey stick. In early September, the Smart car inspired Duncan to create what may be Canada's first mini parking spaces. They are three metres long, just big enough for a Smart or transportation device of similar size -- motorcycles, scooters, or maybe a pair of those boat-sized running shoes worn by teenage boys.

Other municipalities, including Vancouver and Victoria, may follow Duncan's lead. Smart car owners may roll lightly upon the Earth, but they are an assertive lot. As if filling up for under $20 isn't reward enough, they're rearing up on their tiny tires to claim that their diminutive 2.5-metre-long vehicles warrant cheaper parking and discount ferry rates. B.C. Ferries is studying the idea, with muted enthusiasm. What's next, half price at the car wash?

Complete article here.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

smart smiles

Many people have commented that the smartcar looks like it's smiling.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Small Wasn't Smart

The minute commuter car has turned out to be an oversize drain on profits
Posted Sunday, Oct. 09, 2005
It seemed like an extremely clever idea at the time: a stylish two-seater commuter car that would be ideal for city traffic, small enough to fit in the tiniest of parking spots and highly fuel efficient. It seems like an even better idea now. But 11 years after Mercedes dreamed up the idea with Nicholas Hayek, the creator of Swatch watches, the minute Smart car has become an oversize drain on the automaker's profits. In the first six months of this year, Mercedes plunged into the red because of a massive $1.3 billion restructuring charge it took for its Smart operations.

Smart's woes are typical of the troubles afflicting the entire Mercedes group. The car's manufacturing costs are far too high, especially given its relatively small scale--last year the company sold just 150,000 of them. Smart's managers were overly ambitious in developing new models too quickly, according to company officials and analysts. Hayek long ago dropped out. But even before the original model he helped to inspire had established itself, Smart moved on to new territory: the model range was extended to a four-seater, a roadster and a planned SUV.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Trudi Takes Chicago

Architecture students at IIT are really taken with the smartcar. They ask a lot of questions and take a lot of photos. The project presentations undergo rigorous scrutiny.
"After a long day at the college demonstrating the car we manage a quick dinner at Heaven on Seven, a Cajun Restaurant in town. Alex Campbell heads for O'Hare Airport and a late flight back to California. I'm up at 05:10 and wheels turning at 06:00 - quite like old times - a quick pitstop at the BP garage on Roosevelt and I'm heading through the south side of Chicago in the dark. I busk my way to Gary, Indiana on Highway 20 and eventually join I-94 east, then I-69. I detour off the road to Olivet, Michigan where I take a late breakfast at the Main Street cafe. The friendly locals are intrigued by the smart car. When I ask the address of the cafe nobody knows - "it is the only one in town." If you are going to Olivet it is at 110 North Main.
Back on the highway and I'm nearly suckered into an accident by a lady in a black Chevy Impala who is photographing the smart while driving. I reach Port Huron but miss the turning for Canada as the sign is obscured by roadworks. I have visions of being stuck in Michigan for good. Back across the border and a last gas stop at Zehrs in Strathroy, Ontario - I'm struggling in the Toronto rush hour traffic and glad to be back at 17:30."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

IIT College of Architecture Students Designing Proposed 1st US Dealership for Fuel Efficient, Environmentally-Friendly SMART Car

Chicago, Oct 17, 2005 — Chicago, October 17, 2005—Students at Illinois Institute of Technology’s (IIT) College of Architecture will be presenting their proposed dealership building designs to a representative of ZAP, a California company that modifies the high-mileage, environmentally friendly European import for use in the U.S. The third-year studio architecture students will present their designs at S.R. Crown Hall, 3360 S. State Street on Wednesday, October 19, noon to 6:00 pm.

Although a wide array of approaches are being considered, many student proposals will incorporate sustainable design into ZAP’s business plan to create a technologically-advanced transportation dealership.

"This is an exciting opportunity; it’s not often that students get the chance to present their work for the consideration of corporate executives," said Studio Professor Tom Brock.

ZAP, which produces its own zero pollution-emitting vehicles, has exclusive rights to import and modify the SMART Car for American road use and will be considering the student designs for their first North American dealership.

"We’re grateful that Tom Brock has chosen this exercise for his students," said Alex Campbell ZAP’s

Director of Marketing. "Not only do they learn about future transportation, but they are helping our pioneering efforts in this area."

Currently, only 10 SMART Cars are on North American roads; one, driven by Rupert Lloyd-Thomas from his home in Toronto, will be at Crown Hall when the student projects are being reviewed.

Valet Parking Attendants Go Crazy

Report from RLT at Essex Inn, Chicago:
"I really got here around 15:15 - I had forgotten to deduct an hour for the time change. Blazing hot in the car - 72F. I spent two hours detailing the car - the guys at the valet parking are going crazy over the smart - fetching water, shop towels, windolene etc. Short rest then dinner at the Arthouse Cafe with Tom Brock - he is a very interesting guy - great conversation.
Car will be on display outside school of architecture tomorrow - big wigs and press in attendance. Will report later."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Early Start to Road Trip

Architect Tom Brock, from the Illinois Institute of Technology, phoned yesterday to confirm plans for Wednesday's event. Last night we got organized and packed ready for the early departure.
At 5:45 this morning, Rupert drove Trudi out of our underground parking garage heading for the 401. He will take the highway to Sarnia and cross the border into Port Huron, Michigan and with any luck roll into Chicago by dinnertime covering a distance of approximately 450 miles or 700 km.
It is not our smartcar's first visit to Chicago this year. We started our Route 66 Odyssey on Sunday, July 10th at Michigan and Adams. Read about it here.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Ready for the Windy City

Trudi is going to Chicago this week following an invitation from the Illinois Institute of Technology to show our smartcar to their Architecture class. They have been doing a project on "the car dealership of the future" and are inspired by the smartcar. Thanks to Alex Campbell of ZAP in Santa Rosa, California for putting this together.
To get Trudi in show condition we took her out to the Wash N'Go self-serve carwash at 4000 Dundas Street West. We gave her a thorough cleaning inside and out. Several people asked questions about the car including one gentlemen who very politely asked if he could see the engine. Edward Garcia, our sales representative at the Mississauga showroom, recommended Mothers California Gold Showtime Instant Detailer and we have had great results. On the tires, we used Meguiar's Hot Shine Tire Spray. It works well on rubber floor mats too!
You can improve your fuel economy for 25 cents by inflating your tires to the manufacturer's spec twice a month. You will achieve better mileage with the tires pumped up a little higher than the recommended psi.
Trudi is no trailer queen and already has ten thousand hard miles under her wheels. Naturally she will be driven to Chicago on Tuesday in time for the gig on Wednesday.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Smart park nets $57 ticket

Owner of micro car says he’ll fight his case in court; bylaw official says officers have had Smart car complaints
By Kyle Marr
Banff Crag & Canyon staff
Tuesday October 11, 2005

Last week McDonald, a Banffite, parked his 2005 Mercedes Benz Smart car perpendicular to the curb rather than parallel to it, its uniquely compact shape jutting into the road only slightly more than the average car parked normally.
McDonald got a $57 ticket for the unique park job, something he said is unfair and is preparing to fight in court.
“And I’m going to plead not guilty because I don’t think I was improperly parked,” said McDonald, an executive producer at Tracker Productions who uses the car as a work vehicle.
“We just wanted to have a more environmentally friendly way to get out and do the work we have to do. Whenever we are videotaping we try to have as little impact as we can on the environment. This is kind of an extension of our philosophy,” he said.

Read complete article here.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

smart Debuts Winter Accessories

Posted on October 11, 2005 at 9:30 AM CST
"If you're like me and live anywhere up north, you've probably noticed the temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing colors, and people are starting to bundle up a little more. All of this can only mean one thing - winter is coming.
And as all you smart car owners lay awake at night, contemplating the impending winter doom, I'm sure there's only one question going through your head: "What would be the perfect winter accessory to compliment my little smart?"
Have no fear, oh smart ones, because the smart-store has you covered, literally, this winter.
According to the press release, smart is set to debut their new winter accessory line. A couple highlights include an elegant road slipover, complete with a special windproof lining, as well as a stylish long road jacket, featuring a satin look with plenty of room underneath for a suit or blazer.
OK, so maybe smart clothing isn't your thing - what about a smart nutcracker, in the shape of a smart fortwo? According to smart, the nutcracker features the outline of a smart fortwo as well as the tridion safety cell, and will, I'm not making this up, "...crack even the toughest nut."
Are you getting excited yet? If so, all of the above mentioned products are available at the smart-store. If you visit their store, they do have a few items that no smart owner should be without, such as the smart and crossbones t-shirt, and of course, the silver "assless" chaps pictured [above]."

Read Smart's full press release here.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Winter Driving

Now that the chill of autumn has arrived, many people ask what driving the smartcar is like in the winter. Although we've only had Trudi since May this year, we do have some experience to share.
Our first smartcar lived in the UK and was driven all year there but the winters in Sussex don't really compare to being in the snowbelt. Last February smart Canada hosted a winter drive event in conjunction with the Toronto Auto Show at Ontario Place, Toronto. On Thursday February 24 we test drove a smart cabriolet. The closed course was set out on ice and snow and the car handled well in the tricky conditions. smart Canada had contracted the event out to a driving instruction firm whose staff were pleasant and knowledgeable.
smart Canada has posted detailed technical information about winter driving including video shot at the winter drive event which can be seen here.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Driving you round the Benz

Mercedes was once a byword for quality, and its customers the most loyal. Then it all went wrong. But the only way is up for its new chairman says Gavin Green

Published: 11 October 2005, The Independent

"Schrempp's chairmanship saw much action, but few achievements. He oversaw a lot more than Mercedes slipping from the best quality in the world to near the bottom - as if that wasn't unforgivable enough. He also engineered Mercedes-Benz's disastrous takeover of US mass maker Chrysler in 1998 - which has seen the company's share price fall by almost half. He oversaw an expensive and disastrous alliance with Mitsubishi that floundered just as rival Renault was making a huge success of its Japanese partner, Nissan. The Smart small car business has been a financial catastrophe (although I'm fond of the cars) - overall losses are reckoned at more than £2bn. And the Maybach luxury car brand has been a disaster: sales are a fraction of those anticipated.

So the only way to go, for new boss Dieter Zetsche - moustachioed former head of the Chrysler division, who takes over as chairman on January 1 - is up.

Schrempp's legacy is clearly a large one, but, to loyal customers (and no customers were more loyal than Benz's), the biggest catastrophe of all was Mercedes-Benz's fall into the quality gutter. Mercedes had built the finest cars in the world for probably 40 years, maybe longer. Benz had invented the car. Nobody made tasteful, beautifully wrought, elegantly designed cars as well as Mercedes-Benz."

Read full smarticle here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fast-Lane Review: Getting Smarter

Sunday Sun October 2 2005
By: Mathieu Yuill
Do you crave attention? Love it when people crane their necks as you pass by? Think it's great when complete strangers approach you in the parking lot to ask about your car?

I've got bad news for you: while the Smart looks like nothing else on Canada's roads, people in the big city are used to it now.

I answer "yes" to all three of those questions so the week I had the Smart I was truly excited to be conversing with any random person who even took a slight interest in what I was driving. Some of the technology they fit into the Smart is totally cool and I was excited to tell people about it. The engine weighs 69 kg and looks like it could fit in your carry on luggage.

Read the full smarticle here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Smart Car plus GSXR equals “Smartuki,” a VERY Smart Car

The Kneeslider 06 08 2005

Let me introduce, Peter Bee. Peter is a sensible English fellow who took a liking to the Smart Car as soon as it was introduced, so he bought one. He found the car so much to his liking that he kept on buying them, great second car, nice for running errands, quick scoots around town, all very sensible. Problem is, Pete spends his days around MHP, makers of high performance exhaust systems. When you constantly see high performance vehicles of various sorts and drive a Smart, you soon get the urge to tweak it a bit and Peter did just that. He managed to get the engine up to around 100hp which isn’t a bad jump from the 60hp in the stocker, but Pete wanted more.

After seeing nothing else in the option list he looked further afield and started thinking GSXR1000. He talked to the fellows over at Z Cars, you know them, R1 powered Mini’s and the like, and they said “Sure, we can do that.” So Peter dropped off a brand new Smart Car and the fun began. He also talked to Phil Seton of Seton Racing who took a look at a GSXR1000 engine and found room for improvement. The result? Peter’s own personal pleasure button, a way to send his bliss-o-meter straight into the red zone.

Read the full article here.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Melbourne smart tower

This 12 metre high, 10-tonne galvanised steel sculpture can be set up or dismantled within two hours and consists of an amazing vertical stack of six smart fortwo coupés, towering towards the sky.

Read more here.

Why fuel around? smart and Mobil in a win-win situation
5 October, 2005

Against a backdrop of growing awareness about rising fuel costs, smart Australia and Mobil are joining forces. Their joint promotion, called “Why fuel around?” gives buyers of specified Mobil lubricants the chance to win a fuel-efficient 1.3-litre smart forfour.
The promotion poses some timely questions that are currently on the lips of many frustrated motorists: Why fuel around with high prices? Why fuel around with old technology? Why fuel around with the environment?

As a DaimlerChrysler fuel partner, smart was a perfect choice for Mobil when promoting its range of technologically advanced lubricants. The similarities between the innovative and environmentally friendly smart forfour and Mobil’s advanced range of lubricant products are considerable.

“It is great that smart and Mobil can provide the lucky winner with a funky, compact and environmentally friendly smart forfour,” said Sam Tabart, senior manager responsible for smart in Australia.

Fuel efficiency is certainly a strong point of the 1.3-litre smart forfour. It uses just 5.8 L / 100km, around half compared to Australia’s top selling family car (11.1L/100).

The promotion will run from October 5 through to December 31 in participating Mobil service stations across most of Australia.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Sokazo Last Chance

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. New to B.C., Sokazo brings his success with smart 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 Pacific Spirits in Motion. The art smart will be available to the highest bidder in the Festival’s first on-line silent auctions in Fringe history.

Philippe Sokazo's Pacific Spirits in Motion smart car will be on display:

- September 26th to October 3rd, North Vancouver,1375 Marine Drive
- October 3rd to 10th,Richmond,Richmond Auto Mall,5691 Parkwood Way
- October 10th to 17th,Broadway,1395 West Broadway

In a unique on-line silent auction, bidders will have a chance to bid throughout the Fringe Festival and up until mid-October on the smart. An on-line bidding system will be available at opening on the first day of the Vancouver Fringe Festival and then closing October 17th. On October 17th, the highest bidder will drive the Pacific Spirits in Motion smart car home.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

New business model for smart

- Goal for smart: Breakeven in 2007
- Restructuring expenses of up to €1.2 billion
- DaimlerChrysler: Operating profit in 2005 still expected to slightly exceed the prior-year result of €5.8 billion, excluding exceptional charge from smart

Stuttgart - On March 31, 2005, the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG discussed a new business model for the smart business unit of the Mercedes Car Group. This concept will be further developed in detail in the coming weeks and, as announced at the annual press conference on February 10, will be submitted to the Supervisory Board of DaimlerChrysler AG for a decision at the end of April.

Read full article here.

Friday, October 07, 2005

CEBIT 2005: XFX go Extreme with Smart Car

XFX announce their next Extreme Project
You see plenty of innovation at CeBIT 2005, and some fairly extreme things too, such as CPU’s overclocked to 5GHz or engineering mainboards with extra bits of wire hanging off them.. but one of the most extreme mods this year has to be XFX’s Smart Car, complete with XFX and NVIDA livery.
The project started off as an extreme mod inspired by our own Gordy’s car PC, but being XFX, these guys have to go too far. Team HEXUS’ David Ross and myself, accompanied by Halyna from XFX took this baby out for a quick test. Based around an XFX TNT M64, this little baby has some very special features. Power is totally independent from an electrical supply as it is driven, unusually, by petrol which provides a constant 12V across all the rails. The wiring loom is something to see. XFX are still working on the problem of running the machine in an enclosed space as you get a blinding headache after a few minutes.
Read more here.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Geeks-on-Time: The Smartest Choice 2005-2006 Tour

LYNDEN, Wash.--Sept. 27, 2005--

1-800-Geeks-on-Time,the largest independently owned provider of onsite and remote computer services, is dramatically getting the word out to thousands of (what-are-bound-to-be) curious onlookers that it offers "The Smartest Choice" in technology solutions when it launches its "The Smartest Choice 2005-06 Tour." Illustrating the point with thousands of dollars in
prizes and giveaways, the 1600-mile tour will take the company's new 1-800-GeeksOnTime 98-inch convertible SMART Car (aka Swatch Mercedes ART) en route from its headquarters in Lynden, Washington to Phoenix, Arizona, the company's Southwest hub.
During the 1,600-mile trek, the 1-800-GeeksOnTime SMART Car driver will be taking photographs of people along at destinations along the route. Those photos will be posted on the web site at According to 1-800-GeeksOnTime Founder/CEO Venus McNabb, "When people claim their contest photos on the web site, we'll enter them into the drawing where they stand to win all kinds of wonderful prizes. One lucky winner in the company's small business division will receive an IT network makeover, the company's signature specialty, worth more than $10,000. With
a network makeover, small business owners receive premium-level consultation to set up a network, and make their business data secure, virus-free, and safely archived using state-of-the-art technology. Other prizes include a notebook computer, Microsoft 360 system, PSP system, iPod NANOs, certificates for free service calls, subscriptions for ongoing computer remote support, and numerous computer-related items." Drivers will also be giving away thousands of promotional items at each destination long the route.

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

"2005 ForTwo" FLARE MAGAZINE (Toronto), 2005

Artist: Luc Latulippe

"I've been "drawing for a living" for almost two decades. I started in animation and then happily shifted into illustration and design.
My stylized illustrations tend to be seen in fashion, lifestyle, and technology magazines, although I feels I am best utilized on projects that combine both my illustration and design skills, such as posters and book covers.
My influences include comic books and science fiction, both "vintage" and current. In 2003, I co-founded the Jupiter Project, a collective of ten Vancouver illustrators."

Find out more here.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Chrysler Group Announces Five New SUVs on the way Amid Fuel Crisis

Oct 1, 2005
by Trevor Hofmann / Canadian Auto Press
Chrysler Brand to launch its First Sport Utility?
Does it really make sense for Chrysler Group to be doubling its sport utility lineup amidst the most severe gas crisis since the mid-'70s?
Auburn Hills certainly thinks it does, and with a track record that includes some of the most intriguing new models to come along in decades, you might want to think twice before betting against them.
Altogether, Chrysler Group, made up of the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands, will introduce at least five new SUVs within the next two to three years, as part of a new initiative internally called "Full Throttle.". The domestic automaker sees segment opportunities that it is not yet taking advantage of, which could even include a mid- to full-size Chrysler sport utility, plus a variety of new Jeep models, and even two more under the Dodge label.
While flying in the face of caution is hardly unusual for Chrysler Group, the popularity of its new fleet of V8-powered muscle cars - including the 300C, Magnum and Charger, plus the much more powerful SRT8 derivatives of each - is the perfect example that environmentally friendliness, MDS cylinder deactivation technology aside, doesn't appeal to everyone. Therefore, also bucking current trends, new SUVs will be arriving in the automaker's showrooms en masse.

Read the full article here.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Business smarts 11: autoshare

smart ForTwo's (sic)
A fun diesel two seater for business and errands.

AutoShare - Car Sharing Network Inc.
24 Mercer St.
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 1H3

Telephone: 416.340.7888
Fax: 416.340.0080

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Fuel price boosts interest in Smart car


The fuel-sipping, diesel-engined Smart is getting more attention with pump prices pushing through the $1-a-litre barrier. (CP PHOTO/ho-Dean Husby)
VANCOUVER (CP) - As fuel prices break the buck-a-litre barrier across Canada, buyers of those cute little Smart cars are looking, well, smart.
"I laugh at my friends who have trucks who pay $100 at the gas station," says Alexandra Carstens of Vancouver. "For me it's about $18 to $20 dollars and that will take me all the way to Kamloops."
But even before pump prices passed the $1 psychological threshold, Smart car dealers were selling out of the tiny two-seat runabouts, which resemble oversized athletic shoes on wheels.
"The Smart has been exceptionally successful," says auto industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers. "For the type of vehicle it is, it's really struck a chord in Canada."
Smart, a unit of automotive giant DaimlerChrysler, was launched in Canada last fall after six years in the European marketplace.
Sales of 2,390 cars as of July seem small in Canada's 1.5-million annual auto sales but DesRosiers says Smart has outsold a host of mainstream models, including BMW and Mercedes SUVs, Cadillac, Suzuki and Mini Cooper.
"Gas prices I think are part of it but equally important if not more important is the fact that it is a vehicle you could differentiate yourself with," he says. "The Smart car does that better than virtually any other vehicle in the marketplace."

Read full article here.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Road bozos can't stop the Smart future

The Ottawa Citizen
Saturday, October 01, 2005

I drive a Smart car. It's one of these short, stubby two-seaters that are very popular in Europe.
Smarts are powered by a small three-cylinder turbo-diesel, so they are very economical and their small wheelbase ensures neat parking almost anywhere. They do not accelerate as quickly as more powerful cars.
This causes problems for drivers of vehicles with silly, concocted names that always end with "o" -- Murano, Silverado, Bozo. These are usually either huge, road- and gas-guzzlin' behemoths or pseudo-sporty-looking things with aerodynamically useless fins attached to their trunk hoods.
Their drivers spot my little Smart and the worst sides of their characters emerge -- the sides that made them purchase their ego-wheels in the first place. They feel it necessary to try bullying me off the road by tailgating, weaving, over-accelerating and other such he-man tactics. (Yes, they are all men.)

Read full article here.