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Old 01-11-2013, 12:26 AM   #43
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...and I've seen smart vs. Toyota Tundra: smart was able to be driven away while the Tundra got a ride on a roll-back.

Anecdotes are fun, but that's all they are. The smart car is definitely NOT for everyone, but it IS a viable option for many. It has more leg room, shoulder room, and head room than our 2001 Ford Escape; it has a feeling of spaciousness to it because the windshield is farther away from us than our Escape. People who sit in it all say the same thing: "how can they fit so much room into this tiny thing?"

For two people it's a good option for everyday transportation. Why carry around 6000 lbs of SUV, with seating for 7, when there's only 2 of you? Granted, some people need lots of seats, but how often are all the seats used? If we need extra seats, we force ourselves to fire up the Escape, but it spends most of it's time sitting on the driveway these days. the smart is a great toad - it only weighs 1800 lbs and is easy to haul around. When we're not hauling it, we've got our motorcycle on a trailer behind us so I guess you can call us doubly crazy for having both a smart and a bike!
What Alan said! We have 2 Smart 4-2's in our family including a very sweet Cabrio.

They are not gonna beat a Mustang or haul the clan like a mini van ~ they are what they are. And do that quite well.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:29 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan_Hepburn View Post
...and I've seen smart vs. Toyota Tundra: smart was able to be driven away while the Tundra got a ride on a roll-back.

Anecdotes are fun, but that's all they are. The smart car is definitely NOT for everyone, but it IS a viable option for many. It has more leg room, shoulder room, and head room than our 2001 Ford Escape; it has a feeling of spaciousness to it because the windshield is farther away from us than our Escape. People who sit in it all say the same thing: "how can they fit so much room into this tiny thing?"

For two people it's a good option for everyday transportation. Why carry around 6000 lbs of SUV, with seating for 7, when there's only 2 of you? Granted, some people need lots of seats, but how often are all the seats used? If we need extra seats, we force ourselves to fire up the Escape, but it spends most of it's time sitting on the driveway these days. the smart is a great toad - it only weighs 1800 lbs and is easy to haul around. When we're not hauling it, we've got our motorcycle on a trailer behind us so I guess you can call us doubly crazy for having both a smart and a bike!
I think you said it well ... it's a personal decision and certainly has a growing market here in the US. Just take a look at the copycats - Fiat 500, Scion IQ and others.

For us, while it's just us two adults, we do travel with 2 English Labradors, so we need the extra space as they come with us nearly everywhere we go, and definitely every time we take off in the motorhome. A micro car just would not work for *us*
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:41 AM   #45
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"Just take a look at the copycats - Fiat 500...."

The Fiat 500 was made from 1957 to 1975 then the current version began in 2007.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:32 AM   #46
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Also had a new fiat 500 , nice retro design but didn't drive as good as it looked , rear seat space was awful
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:48 AM   #47
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There are just 2 of us. We did the 2 wheelers, 2-seater cars etc. It was great great fun! Thrilling, actually. But we moved on to other adventures. A road is only a road unless......

We have a Wrangler now. It is wonderful to drive! And 21mpg is an acceptable part of the price of our new lifestyle. It is our toad, and superb for that.

We go to so many places most cant or wont, and see wildlife and scenery average tourists cant even dream of. We had quite enough of the madding crowds.

And when grandkids are with us, we feel good that the risks to them are minimum.
The Wrangler is versatile and safe. And heavy.

Be safe out there folks, and Happy trails!
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:37 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan_Hepburn View Post
...and I've seen smart vs. Toyota Tundra: smart was able to be driven away while the Tundra got a ride on a roll-back.

Anecdotes are fun, but that's all they are. The smart car is definitely NOT for everyone, but it IS a viable option for many. It has more leg room, shoulder room, and head room than our 2001 Ford Escape; it has a feeling of spaciousness to it because the windshield is farther away from us than our Escape. People who sit in it all say the same thing: "how can they fit so much room into this tiny thing?"

For two people it's a good option for everyday transportation. Why carry around 6000 lbs of SUV, with seating for 7, when there's only 2 of you? Granted, some people need lots of seats, but how often are all the seats used? If we need extra seats, we force ourselves to fire up the Escape, but it spends most of it's time sitting on the driveway these days. the smart is a great toad - it only weighs 1800 lbs and is easy to haul around. When we're not hauling it, we've got our motorcycle on a trailer behind us so I guess you can call us doubly crazy for having both a smart and a bike!
YUP - we have both a Ford Escape, the '02 Dodge/Cummins for 5er towing duty - and then, THIS for less mundane transportation:



I guess if we were going to fixate on "ultimate safety", a Sherman tank might get the job done...
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:15 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonDee View Post
"Just take a look at the copycats - Fiat 500...."

The Fiat 500 was made from 1957 to 1975 then the current version began in 2007.
By copycats, I mean the introduction - or in Fiat's case - the reintroduction of "micro" cars to the US.

Before Smart decided to test the waters with a micro car, there was really nothing available in the US smaller than say, a mini, on a large volume basis.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:02 PM   #50
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I'd certainly buy one of these if they can deliver it around that price point and it has air conditioning.

Since the mechanicals are certainly from a motorcycle, and the body is some kind of fiberglass shell over a metal/aluminum cage, I'd guess the price point is somewhat realistic.

The key to this thing as a three wheeler is the two wheels up front. It would be interesting to know if they share a similar design with the Can-am on the front assembly - theirs is quite sophisticated.

I have some serious twisty mountain roads I tear up with this thing. Could be a fun toy - probably no less safe than an Lotus Elise and heaps cheaper.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:24 PM   #51
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I'd certainly buy one of these if they can deliver it around that price point and it has air conditioning.

Since the mechanicals are certainly from a motorcycle, and the body is some kind of fiberglass shell over a metal/aluminum cage, I'd guess the price point is somewhat realistic.

The key to this thing as a three wheeler is the two wheels up front. It would be interesting to know if they share a similar design with the Can-am on the front assembly - theirs is quite sophisticated.

I have some serious twisty mountain roads I tear up with this thing. Could be a fun toy - probably no less safe than an Lotus Elise and heaps cheaper.
We don't know much about whats under the hood, do we? I looked at a bunch of articles after the OP started this thread and see little except it may be a 3 cylinder w/ front wheel drive (from the mfgt website - not a motorcycle drive)...and was originally called the Trikke...see:
http://features.rr.com/photo/06jp2cnaQ13Ul

Reality is that gas will keep going up in price, so cars will change. Gas prices go up and down, but favor the up direction, so micro cars are coming and 3wheelers are part of that segment.

I wish Elio the best of luck, because I like the looks of this thing better than the usual econo-boxes out there.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:17 PM   #52
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The early smart cars had a 600cc 3 cylinder Mercedes engine
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:20 PM   #53
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I was watching some of the Elio videos today and noticed that there is no rear window. That should make it very interesting for drivers that aren't used to using only their side mirrors to backup.

I wonder a bit too about the exposed front suspension in climates that get snow and if the Elio would be limited to be more of a 3 season vehicle.

*Update* Upon further reading on the website, it's a front engine, front wheel drive car, and they state "Great Traction: The engine is in the front and it is a front-wheel-drive vehicle. So, with a low center of gravity and weight towards the front, you’ll get great traction action – even in the snow."
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:33 PM   #54
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Looks like they added an interior shot in the last few days. The seat doesn't look *too* comfy, but it's just a CAD rendering. The interior looks spacious enough for a vehicle of its size. To me, it has a Toyota-ish look to it.

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Old 01-12-2013, 03:36 PM   #55
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We don't know much about whats under the hood, do we? I looked at a bunch of articles after the OP started this thread and see little except it may be a 3 cylinder w/ front wheel drive (from the mfgt website - not a motorcycle drive)...and was originally called the Trikke...see:
Photo from AP Photo - Elio Motors, General Motors Assembly Plant, Trikke News, photos, topics, and quotes
From the website ...

An inline, 3 cylinder, 1 liter, 70 HP, fuel-injected, DOHC gas-powered, liquid-cooled, automotive engine.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:24 PM   #56
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Dunno about others, but probably 90% of our vehicle driving is purely local, get mail, groceries, random appointments - all round trips of less than 10 miles. An economical smaller vehicle that could haul 2 people and groceries in that scenario, and do it with far better economy than what we now drive would be quite interesting...

Not looking for, or NEEDING a luxury liner, just a well designed and manufactured utility rig that doesn't look cheap or home-made...

And yes, the long-in-the-making, manufactured energy "crisis" is most certainly steering and compelling us towards the exact same modes of transportation as seen in most European and Asian societies - econo-boxes and bicycles ARE in our (very NEAR!) future, just as they are in other parts of the world!
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