Smart recently showed off its new hybrid pickup truck. Yup, you read right, a pickup truck from the company that makes the tiny ForTwo vehicle. The Smart For-us aims to recast the vision of the pickup as green and urban friendly. We’re not too sure how that will pan out, as most pickups are used as utility vehicles or off-road beasts. By the looks of the Smart For-us, it looks like it would be afraid to tread on grass, let alone the American roads. Though a concept idea, this “truck” would be powered 55-kilowatt magnetoelectric motor, achieving about 80 MPG. Though great on gas mileage, the Smart For-us leaves much to be desired by the average truck buyer.
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In a kind of belated April Fool’s joke, a vending machine was constructed in Japan that holds a full-size Smart Car. Located in the Smart Vendor in Shibuya station, you get to choose between a Coupe and Cabrio and deposit your $20,000.00 in the slot. While we realize this probably an incredible effective marketing ploy, we were thinking that we might go for the real thing since it wouldn’t involve smarmy automobile salespeople looking for commission.
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We were happy to find out that the new Smart Car did well during its recent crash tests. The 8 foot car received the highest rating in both front-end and side impact testing. It received the second highest rating for rear crashes. Adrian Lund, president of the IIHS that conducted the test, said that a small car may be safer in congested urban areas, where crashes occur less often.
“All things being equal in safety, bigger and heavier is always better. But among the smallest cars, the engineers of the Smart did their homework and designed a high level of safety into a very small package,” Lund said. Looking at the results, it’s even a smaller package now.
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The Mercedes designed ultra-compact Smart (Swatch Mercedes Art) Car is about to hit the States. Designed in the 90’s, it has been in 36 countries for about 10 years and gets around 40 mpg. The car was designed for mostly localized driving, definitely not for salespeople continuously on the road. The Smart Car comes with a price starting at about $11,600.00. The delay comes, according to Mercedes market specialist Jessica Gamarra, because they didn’t feel the U.S. was ready for the minute automobile. We beg to differ. We fondly remember a Honda 600 Coupe that we had in the 70’s that had only 2 cylinders and got over 40 mpg highway.
Read More | CNN