Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mercedes Smart Coupe- The Tiny Fuel-Efficient Car

zoomii-amazon-bookstoreEvery coming day, I read about a new fuel-efficient car or hybrid car hitting the roads, or a new one unveiled at an auto show. Looks like every car company is out to capture a tiny part of the go-green hybrid-car market, and the latest buzz is about the Mercedes Smart - the 2-seater 2008 Coupe, which is a bundle of fuel-efficiency packed in a small & sleek design, backed by Mercedes' safety rating! Looking very similar to the Tata Nano, but combining way more comfort and style, the Mercedes Smart is surely attracting attention as I see more and more of them on the california freeways!

The Mercedes Smart has been running in the European roads for quite some time now, but it was released in US in January 2008, and that too with a 2-month waiting period. One of my friends actually bought one, and I had the chance to experience it from inside, and actually ride in it. Advertised as the "Smart For two", this cute car that looks like a cross between te tata nano and the Mini-Cooper, runs on a mercedes engine. As the name implies, it is designed for 2 people, or perhaps squeeze one tiny kid, so don't look at it if you want a decent-sized family car. 8.8 feet long, 5.1 feet tall and 5.1 feet wide, it is indeed a small car! However, with 8 cubic feet of storage space – 12 feet if you load up to the roof line, the rear trunk can easily fit numerous bags of groceries, gym bags and other items that are commonly transported every day, including golf clubs!

But what makes this car really Smart? Its actually its fuel-efficiency, and its price! The vehicle is designed to achieve 40 city/45 highway mpg according to 2007 EPA standards and 33 city/41 highway mpg according to 2008 EPA standards, for an 8.7 gallon fuel-tank, which is pretty competitive (just a bit less maybe) with the current hybrids like Honda Civic or Toyots Prius.

The safety that's tied to the mercedes name cannot be ignored! With features like Electronic Stability Program, traction control, cornering brake control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution and brake assist, the SMART helps drivers stay in control on snowy and icy terrains too. Wider rear wheels and tires allow for better grip and traction in marginal weather conditions. Narrower front wheels and tires allow for less traction loss by penetrating into snow and ice deeper for improved steering control. All smart vehicles come standard with all season tires. Moreover, the 2008 Smart models achieved the highest ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for front and side crashworthiness.

All this at extremely affordable price starting from 14,000 USD. Good things come in small packages - is indeed true for this beauty! Available in 3 models, the Smart Pure, Passion Coupe and Passion Cabriolet Convertible, you can choose the one that suits your style, and budget. What's more, its eco-friendly too - the Smart Car has been classified as an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) on account of its extremely low exhaust emissions. An electric pump blows fresh air into the exhaust port when the engine is cold to almost completely oxidize the carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC) and render them harmless.

If you've loved a Mini-Cooper, and do not mind a small car that's built for two, yet made efficient and safe, not to mention fuel-efficient, you'll love the new Mercedes Smart Coupe. After all, with a name like Mercedes to back it up, there's not many faults you can find in this tiny-tot!

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Fuelvapor Technologies - The Next-Gen Hybrid Car
Tata Nano - The World's Cheapest Car!

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