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  1. #41  
    I've driven one a couple of times.
    Are they selling those in Australia now?

    I don't know what's taking them so long to get over here. You think they could throw a couple on the boat when they ship the Mercedes over. Hell, you could probably throw one in the trunk of a mercedes.

    Have you heard anything about their reliability?

    As for the rocking when breaking and accelerating...that sounds kinda fun.

    I'm sure Ginger will have the same problem!
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  2. #42  
    the wheelchair version can climb stairs and roll over uneven surfaces steadily enough at walking speeds
    Right. The key words being 'walking speeds'

    Anyone have any idea as to how fast this thing is supposed to go?

    And just to advocate the smart car, if half of all commuters had one, we'd reduce traffic and parking congestion by 25%...even though there is the same # of cars on the road.

    Of course, we could be REALLY smart like thos urban europeans and just all get bikes. We'd probably be a lot healthier too...
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  3. #43  
    quote:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    homer said
    I don't know what's taking them so long to get over here.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Rightly or wrongly, they are not sold here because they do not meet Federal safety standards for cars. You can import one yourself as a gray market car, but would need to spend the money to have it meet all the standards that current cars must acheive.
    Jonathan
  4. #44  
    Originally posted by jhappel
    Rightly or wrongly, they are not sold here because they do not meet Federal safety standards for cars. You can import one yourself as a gray market car, but would need to spend the money to have it meet all the standards that current cars must acheive.
    Do you know exactly what standards they break?
  5. #45  
    quote:
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    dietrichbohn wrote:
    Do you know exactly what standards they break?
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    If (and that's a BIG if) I remeber the article I read I believe that they did not pass any of the crash tests, e.g. front and rear bumper, side impact, etc. I don't remeber whether or not it passed emission control tests which are much tougher here in the US.

    I remeber I had the same type of problem back in the mid 80's when I brought over from Europe a 1972 Porsche 911RS Carerra, a street-legal race car. I was exempt from meeting emission control standards because the car was older than a 1976, but I had to have the doors reinforced to meet side impact requirements. I was fortunate in knowing someone who did it for me for just the costs of the reinforcing bars, otherwise it would have cost me around $1500-2000. Multiply this by also having to meet front and rear bumper standards and then by the number of cars that would have to be imported and you can see why a manufacturer would not want to bring them in until there was a good sized market for them.
    Jonathan
  6. #46  
    Originally posted by jhappel I don't remeber whether or not it passed emission control tests which are much tougher here in the US.[/B]
    You'd think at 70mpg it would blow emission standards out of the water. Of course, we won't see anywhere near that here in the US after they add all that extra steel to reinforce the entire thing.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  7. #47  
    I remeber the article I read I believe that they did not pass any of the crash tests, e.g. front and rear bumper, side impact, etc. I don't remeber whether or not it passed emission control tests which are much tougher here in the US.
    From what I've read...it seems like a safe little car. lots of airbags and the engine is designed to drop on impact (so it doesn't crush you).

    Apparently, it being so light is also an advantage. Less weight, less momentum, less damage in the crash.

    But it probably doesn't meet current standards perhaps. Then again, I don't remember a motorcycle meeting side-impact standards either.

    As for emissions, that may be true...though you'd think that'd be an easy fix.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  8. #48  
    All that steel is going to make it a bit louder on the road as well.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  9. #49  
    There USED to be guidelines in America about minimum width, length, etc. as well that the Smart Car probably would not pass.

    As far as changing the rules- I agree that it should happen, but wow- what inertia the changes will have to work against!
  10. #50  
    I dunno about a minimum width (how wide's a bicycle?), but there's a max width - something like a foot or two less than the standard lane width; I recall reading that the Humvee pushes it.
    Maximum length depends on state.
    Minimum length might be a safety issue? But I'd be a bit surprised if there was one.
    The light at the end of your tunnel has been disconnected due to non-payment. Please remit funds immediately for restoration of hope.
  11. #51  
    Originally posted by Yorick
    I dunno about a minimum width (how wide's a bicycle?)
    It wouldn't surprise me at all if there was a minimum width. After all, there is a tipping issue with narrow cars and trucks that just isn't there with bicycles and motorcycles. I do, however think that in the land of legislation and litigation we can be too specific about what a car should be (if it has four wheels, it's a car and therefore must have these characteristics...) Furthermore, if something is new to us, and we don't have rules for it you can't do it without a very big amount of hassle. For example, one of the coolest cars..er um vehicles I've seen is a trike from the UK. It has 2 wheels in front and a BMW motorcycle drivetrain grafted onto the back. I doubt a small company would have the ability to get something like this to market in the US. Bike? No. Car? No. Safe to drive? Probably, but it doesn't fit any existing catagory well enough.

    You know, it's funny. There is a special set of emission and safety rules for light trucks (pickups and SUV's.) Maybe if we must legislate everything we should have a special class of safety standards for light cars. They are likely much safer than motorcycles, but Why do they have to be as safe as vehicles that weigh twice as much? It seems like it would be a good thing to have commuter vehicles buzzing around getting 70+ MPG. It just seems like sometimes too many constraints can restrict progress.

    Oops, sorry if this turned into a rant. I didn't mean it to.
  12. #52  
    In New York State any vehicle with 3 wheels is a motorcycle and has to follow motorcycle rules.
  13. #53  
    Originally posted by olendorf
    In New York State any vehicle with 3 wheels is a motorcycle and has to follow motorcycle rules.
    Oh. Bad example.
  14. #54  
    Quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    ****-richardson said:
    You'd think at 70mpg it would blow emission standards out of the water.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Don't confuse fuel economy with emissions. Just because a vehicle gets great gas mileage does not necessarily mean that it is a clean burning engine.
    Jonathan
  15. #55  
    Originally posted by jhappel
    Quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    ****-richardson said:
    You'd think at 70mpg it would blow emission standards out of the water.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Don't confuse fuel economy with emissions. Just because a vehicle gets great gas mileage does not necessarily mean that it is a clean burning engine.
    I understand the difference. I don't think you're thinking it through. At 70mpg, it is burning so little gasoline - compared to 99% of the cars on the road - that, regardless of how clean it burns, it's not going to be putting much into the air.

    IOW, it can burn 7 times 'dirtier' than a car getting 10mpg and pass the same emission standards. Considering the advances made in internal combustion engines since cars were making 10mpg, it would almost have to be intentional to make a car burn that dirty.
    Last edited by dick-richardson; 08/12/2001 at 10:49 AM.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  16. #56  
    Originally posted by homer


    Are they selling those in Australia now?

    I don't know what's taking them so long to get over here. You think they could throw a couple on the boat when they ship the Mercedes over. Hell, you could probably throw one in the trunk of a mercedes.

    Have you heard anything about their reliability?

    As for the rocking when breaking and accelerating...that sounds kinda fun.

    I'm sure Ginger will have the same problem!
    No I drive 1 in Holland. I think its the lefthand drive that is the biggest problem.. they need to make a special batch of UK/Ozzie cars and that is expensive.. and they are not cheap as is...

    Over here cars look more like american cars than european cars (i.e. 'bigger is better' )
    The smart actually is very save since is has a specially designed cabin which is designed to withstand large impacts...
    They have not been around long enough to really do a reliability test I guess..
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=http://www.visorcentral.com/images/visorcentral.gif> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
    Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?
  17. #57  
    Originally posted by Yorick
    Originally posted by ToolkiT
    Especiallyt the semi automatic transmission (like in the new porches) and quite spacious for 2 people.

    There are porches with semi-automatic transmissions?
    gee, mine just sits there ...
    mmm I'm the only one in this discussion that speaks german and I'm the one that make a typo in a german word/brand...
    Shame on me!
    verdamt noch mal!
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=http://www.visorcentral.com/images/visorcentral.gif> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
    Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?
  18. #58  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn


    It's the Mercedes-Benz Swatch mini-car

    As I recall, they changed the laws in Europe so you could parallel park just by pulling in, so long as you owned that car.

    You can also go to the dealer whenever you feel like it and change the panels, like a m100, I guess
    not quite:
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=http://www.visorcentral.com/images/visorcentral.gif> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
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