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  1. Having just done some car shopping ... Each dealer has about 3 or 4 of them, the bigger dealers have more. Most M-B dealers in the Toronto area also carry smart (evidently it is not like this in the USA). And the outcome of that car shopping ... was buying something other than a smart, and evidently I'm not the only one. Every 453 at any dealer was automatic, which I didn't want. Cabrios have not shown up yet, and it appears that manual isn't going to be offered, at least not initially. There's only a $500 incentive on the coupe and nothing on the cabrio. I test drove a 453 and really liked it but not the unavailability of manual transmission, and not the price tag. Meanwhile, the Chrysler dealer within walking distance of my house, had two left-over 2015 Fiat 500 cabrio manual (probably why no one bought them) in top-level Lounge trim, with bluetooth, leather, etc at a big discount from MSRP on account of the non-current model year, and with 0% long-term financing to boot. My name is now on the red one.
  2. I bought the smart's replacement today. I gave the M-B dealer a chance, but the 453 is just too expensive for what it is. I bought a Fiat 500c cabrio, manual, from dealer stock (and a proper manual transmission is another thing which proved impossible to find on a 453). The smart has non-functioning A/C, which is a problem this summer, and the clutch has become grabby to the point of being very annoying and sometimes stalling the engine. No, it's not the actuator adjustment; been there done that. I've had enough. The smart is still in my driveway for the next couple of days, I'm picking up the new car on Wednesday. Ad is in the classifieds. There's a good Bilstein suspension kit and a good set of alloy wheels sitting right there. 234,748 km as it sits.
  3. This will end up being watered down.
  4. Last chance before it gets traded in next week. At this point any offer will be entertained. Time to move on. Wheels shown here are 6.5x15 all around. The stock Passion alloy wheels have good winter tires on them. Both sets go with the car. Has Area 451 cruise control and Bilstein coil-over suspension kit. Engine starts and runs well but has intermittent "check engine" P0410 (secondary air injection). Power windows and locks all work. 2nd owner, I bought it in 2012 with 89,000 km on it. Lots of highway mileage; oil changes have been DIY every 10,000 km with Mobil 1 0w40. It is going to need clutch work, it judders on engagement. The air conditioning does not work. There is a stone chip in the windshield on the right side, which should be repairable. Selling "as is". Price drop - $1000 or make offer. LAST CHANCE before trade-in. Contact: - Private message on this forum - Email bpetersen@lucidengineering.ca
  5. Re anodizing colour - Don't care. Either clear (natural aluminum) or black is fine. In for a bulk buy on the wheel bolts, too.
  6. I would be up for a set of 4 15mm at that price.
  7. It costs several hundred thousand dollars to emissions-certify a powertrain. Look how tiny the sales volume is, even for the standard model. At least the 453 comes with a turbo and evidently is capable of more than stock power output without a lot of modifications. The 451, you pretty much got what you got unless you want to spend thousands.
  8. I'd do all four wheels at 15mm via the longer-bolts route if the price were decent.
  9. So it turns out that the only damage from my 360 spin cycle was a broken bracket for the rear valance. $24 for a new one, I picked it up today and put it back together. There were some scuff marks on the bumper cover ... sanded, wet-sanded, went after it with the buffer, good enough. On the way home after the post I made earlier from a coffee shop, I saw a Subaru WRX being pulled out of the ditch with lots of damage, Judging from the panel gaps at the trunk lid, I think the shell was bent. Probably a writeoff. 4 wheel drive won't fix all winter-driving problems. The car is in my garage and it is staying there tomorrow. The van has better tires on it ... and it's already at the end of the driveway ready to go tomorrow.
  10. In today's sloppy weather ... I did a 360 degree spin in my own lane on highway 9 west of Newmarket and lightly tagged the guardrail with the rear bumper just before the spinning stopped. Ended up facing more or less forward so I hit the gas and kept right on going without stopping. At the moment, I'm stuck in the parking lot of a favorite coffee shop until some of this crap melts. No visible damage from the guardrail tag. I'm sure there will be some scratches visible once it's cleaned up and dried, but I ain't gonna worry about it. No harm no foul.
  11. I cannot "accept" a 100 km range when the average workday (averaged over 1 year) covers 160 km and the outliers (~ 1% of the time) are about double that, and it's 160 km one way to my sister's place. It is not a matter of "accepting" anything. It simply isn't going to get the job done. I have another gas powered vehicle that I'm willing to use on the 1% workdays and for vacations, which will always exceed any foreseeable EV range. It uses double the fuel that the gas smart uses.
  12. The compromises that current EV owners have to make, and which are evident in that article, aren't acceptable to normal people. They're certainly not acceptable to me. And ... it's all about range! I know what my driving patterns are like; I don't have time to plan routes around charging stations (which may or may not be available or tied up) and I don't have time to wait for charging. Overnight charging is fine but it's gotta do the whole day's run without recharging. Current EV owners can be considered early-adopters. Early-adopters tend to minimize the downsides of what they have to deal with ... Bear in mind that the Chevrolet Bolt has my interest. It's not that I'm some sort of anti-EV crusader - far from it. But current EVs are either too expensive (Tesla) or unsuitable due to insufficient range combined with inadequate quick-charging availability.
  13. For the moment ... Useless! I am waiting for the Chevrolet Bolt, plus a little bit longer to see if the car actually lives up to its expectations, because that one - if it operates as claimed - will do my daily rounds without having to deal with (and wait for) public charging stations.
  14. I've seen exactly one 453 out in the wild. The dealer in Brampton has a couple of them out front. I don't think the average person knows they exist as there has been NO advertising.
  15. Looks just like the top end of a motorcycle engine. If you can do that in half an hour, including all of the disassembly and reassembly necessary to get to that point, wanna do mine?? I will work on bike engines any day (just rebuilt one a couple weeks ago) but the smart ... I open the engine hatch, look inside, establish that I don't wish to contort myself into whatever shape is necessary in order to get in there, look underneath the car and shudder at the thought of all the rusted bolts that have to come off, then close it up and keep on driving ...