Dublin Saab

Cars, politics, sports and what not from my view. (Closed Sundays and Holidays)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Smart car = iMac

Simply put, the Smart car is a lifestyle purchase, much like an iMac, when a much cheaper Windows machine could do the job, or for that matter a BMW, when a much cheaper KIA can do the job. Also like the iMac Apple-heads there is nothing you can say to sway those who believe in the Smart car. They believe it's the best thing since sliced bread and you just don't get it.

However, no matter how strong their faith, I don't feel that the Smart will be a great success. There are many reasons for my feeling that the car is doomed to failure. The reasons include, but are not limited to the fact that; it is an impractical 2 seater, it's underpowered, it doesn't really get all that great mileage compared with diesels, hybrids and cars like the Honda Fit, it has a 2year/24,000 mile warranty (which makes in the worst warranty in the NA market) and it's not all that safe.

Safety is the issue that really gets the Smart-heads twisted up in a tizzy. The mere suggestion that the Smart is less than a Volvo in safety will result in screams about the Smart's passenger compartment safety cage and pictures of the Smart's cage surviving impacts into barriers, which is what safety testing consists of. Unfortunately in the real world there are more than just immobile walls, there are other cars and they are moving.

Fact: The Smart can hit a wall at 65 mph and the doors will still open.

Fact: The Smart will spin like a pinball if it hits another moving car.

The smart is not a tin can that will collapse, this it true. But F still equals MA and when your Smart meets a sedan in an intersection you are a goner. Not because you get crushed, no, but rather because you receive massive internal trauma from deceleration and centrifugal forces. I could do the math for you but a YouTube video is worth 3,564 words.

There will be a short term rush for the Smart as people buy them because they are cool, different, cute, European, etc. But in the long term the car will not see success. After all, if it's lost money in Europe, the market it was designed for, ever year of its manufacturing, then there is no reason to see it achieving success in the NA market. None at all.


At November 19, 2008 8:20 PM, Anonymous ES said...

I noticed you have some of my favorite blogs on your blogroll including Instapundit and LGF. Would you mind adding our Car site http://www.thecarconnection.com to your blogroll?



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