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Everything posted by zwigli

  1. My little Smarty is now the proud "Big sister" (she is almost 4!) of a little brother named "The Ninja". Yep, 2 Smart cars in the family! We share an underground parking spot, cute no? More info here: One diesel, one petrol. Will try not to mix them up... Safe driving Marie-Claude
  2. A little pix of the shared parking spot :)A few people are jealous! Why pay for a second spot?
  3. HelloThanks for the review, very useful. We are facing this decision at the moment!We already own a 450, but now need a second car, so it will be a 450 or a 451... The pure 451, new, are about the same price as the 2006 passion, fully loaded. Any comparison points to base our decision?It will be for about 50-50% urban/highway driving... ThxMC
  4. Another article on the same topic today.... Smart USA won't be stopped by snow, delivers first Fortwo Electric Drive to a customer Hertz may have been the first to get the suckers on the road, but Mindy Kimball of Silver Spring, MD is the first American customer to have a Smart Fortwo Electric Drive of her very own. She's a US Army Major and now has a funky little green (but not olive drab) and white coupe at home -- probably buried under a foot or two of white stuff at this point. She's member numero uno of Smart USA's so-called "Team 250," which will make up the first 250 owners of the cars, each of which offer a maximum of 72 miles of range and a top speed of 70mph. All while looking super cute.
  5. PETER CHENEY Globe and Mail Update The Smart Car reminded me of a woman I dated briefly in university – great concept, bad execution. The Smart looked perfect – a tiny, tootling urban runabout that would schlep me hither and yon with minimal impact on the environment. I like small cars, and the Smart was the ultimate small car – so short it can be parked nose-first on a downtown street. And the Smart looked cool, with a sawed-off shape that made it even cuter than my beloved Fiat 600. So my expectations were high. Then I drove it. Like that woman in second year, the Smart fizzled out with exceptional speed. I thought the car would be fun. It wasn’t. The steering was vague, the interior felt cheap, and the automatic transmission was the single worst piece of mechanical design I’ve encountered in a modern car – it lurched between gears like a 1980s Lada taxi. Driving the Smart on the freeway was an exercise in terror. One hundred kilometres an hour hadn’t felt this fast since the time I lost the brakes on a bicycle going down a steep hill. The weight distribution was bad – the engine was jammed in back, an engineering afterthought that left the front end with a light, eerie feel. Strangely enough, the Smart didn’t feel small from inside. The cabin was no different than the one in a full-sized car - unless I turned around to contemplate the Smart’s chopped-off tail section, it was easy to imagine that I was driving a Toyota Corolla. The Smart was a social litmus test. Men in Corvettes gave me pitying looks. A woman in her late fifties hit on me at Starbucks – she had clothes that looked liked they’d been woven from hemp. The Smart was a statement vehicle, but its message wasn’t one that I wanted to convey. As a transportation device, the Smart was brutally limited. The trunk was a miniature grotto, barely large enough for my wife's purse and a couple of bags of groceries. Taking my son to hockey was out - his equipment bag wouldn't fit. The Smart’s fuel economy was good, but not spectacular – this was a little car that punched below its weight. Source.
  6. Sorry, can't copy the text with iPad! Can't wait to have those available in Halifax! Marie-Claude
  7. HummmJust wondering if that is link to the release in the fall of the new electric Smart?Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver would make sense as cities of choice... although I would prefer Halifax to be on the list!!!Grrrrr. I may have to travel to try one... Give some details those lucky one who are going!MC
  8. Smart plugs into Big Apple - in the Chronicle Herald, Halifax, June 8, 2010BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The last time I drove a Smart fortwo, back in January, it was bittercold and you drove hours before seeing another vehicle, let alone people in the vastexpanse of the Canadian Arctic.This time it was blistering hot and humid and I was on the narrow and uber-crowded streetsof this city where inches separate you from the next human. Just as different as the localeand circumstances, were the Smarts I was driving. As much as the three-cylinderconventional version was out of its element in the wide-open high-speed expanse of theGreat White North, the electric Smart driven here was where it belongs.The Smart was originally conceived as a commuter car, a conveyance for two people incrowded urban environments. Its relatively roomy interior belied its diminutive exteriormaking it easy to manoeuvre and park in tight spaces. The small size and light weightallowed the use of a fuel sipping little engine with very low emissions — just the ticket forcity life. Another key aspect of that original development plan was the use of hybrid drive orelectric motors. But with those technologies taking longer to reach an acceptable level, aninternal combustion engine was pressed into service. Now that battery technology hasadvanced, Mercedes engineers have given the little Smart an electric drive system. Theresult is a perfect fit.The problem with electric drive systems is range — as much as 150-km on paper and inmarketing bumph for the best to date, but a more realistic 75-100 in real-world conditionswith traffic, air conditioning or heater in play. No problem if you live in a crowded urbancenter or have a short drive to commuter rail or bus station. An electric vehicle may not bethe perfect vehicle for that 300-km flog to the weekend cottage or visiting the grandparents,but it clearly outshines that big gas hog for the other 90 per cent of the time when you haveshort trips to work or for shopping.The Smart fortwo electric drive was developed for this very scenario. In fact, Phil Moos,product manager for the vehicle, can see a fleet of Smarts in most major cities, many ofthem available for daily rental or in fleets where you pay a monthly fee for access to onewithout the worry of maintenance, depreciation or the other headaches associated withvehicle ownership.This complete departure from the norm is seen to be in touch with the desires and lifestylesof a new generation of young adults as well as a group at the other end of the age scalefolks who only need a vehicle on occasion. That is the reason Mercedes chose this locationfor the global reveal of the Smart electric drive. Stand on a sidewalk here and you areimmediately reminded of Sesame Street.The vast majority of people are young adults with a heavy incidence of young children. Theyuse a vast public transit system to get to and from work., there is very little parking spaceand corner grocery stores, bakeries, delicatessens, fruit and vegetable stands everywhere —ideal for a very small electric car like this.Fuel cells that generate electricity from hydrogen are seen as the ultimate solution. But thetechnology and necessary refuelling infrastructure are a ways off. Electric outlets areeverywhere — and easy to install where needed. Thus, the move to plug-in electric vehicleslike this one, the Nissan Leaf and others arriving in the next year or so. Smart engineerssay one issue to be resolved in the coming months as more electric vehicles come tomarket is a common charging station.The SAE has already established a standard for the plug to be used in all markets aroundthe world, whether to access 110 or 220-volts. The former is common in North Americahouseholds as is 220 volts for clothes dryers and stoves. Much of Europe and Asia use 220-volt outlets for everything. Batteries like those in the Smart electric drive can be rechargedfrom both, but the 220 outlets cut the recharge time in half.Moos says you can drive the Smart electric drive during the day and recharge at night"when utilities are begging you to use their power, when they have electricity coming outtheir ears"So what is it like to drive?Think of a very sophisticated golf cart. Get in, turn a key, put it in drive, press on theaccelerator and you have instant acceleration — impressive acceleration because electricmotors generate their maximum power or torque from idle; in this case, 30 KW or about 41horsepower and 89 lb. ft. of torque. Obviously, the system is much more complex than a golfcart but you get the drift.Here, a few blocks from a bridge or short ferry ride across the East River to Manhattan, theSmart electric drive scoots through congested streets and around double-parked deliveryvehicles with complete ease. It is all but silent, with the whine of the electric motor evidentonly if there is a pause in the blaring of horns and general racket that is part of this scene.Aside from the instant and impressive power and complete lack of sound, there is no otherreminder you are in anything but a conventional Smart fortwo. A quick peak at theinstruments serves to remind you of the rate you are using electricity and the amountremaining in the 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack beneath your butt where the fuel tank islocated in the IC Smart. The conventional transmission lever activates a single-gear drivesystem. Put it in reverse and the electric motor simply turns in the other direction.With all that weight positioned as low as possible the center of gravity is also low, endowingthe Smart electric drive with cat-like prowess when it comes time to dodge a pothole orwayward pram pushed out between cars in the middle of the block.How many? Originally, 250 for North America and 45 for Canada, the majority in Torontoand Vancouver.How much? To be determined, but look for the Smart electric drive to be available onlythrough a closed-end, four-year lease for about $600 a month with $2,500 down. Mercedeswants to monitor this initial batch of 1,000 units very closely and by retaining ownership andgetting them back after four years of normal use they can learn a great deal. Seriesproduction will begin in 2012.With congestion and pollution such a major issue in cities today, pollution-free small carslike this are surely the way of the future in cities like Montreal, Toronto, Calgary andVancouver, and even smaller cities without a decent public transit system.Richard Russell owns and operates Advanced Driving Concepts. He is chairman for AJAC’sCanadian Car of the Year and is past-president of the Automobile Journalists Association ofCanada (
  9. Well, cars are often more expensive in Europe, so it does not mean that they will be $1000/month here. Still worth it to stay tune for more details about how they will be distributed in Canada. I hope we will get one in Halifax!- MC
  10. Comme plusieurs, vous croyez sans doute que la Smart Fortwo n'est rien d'autre qu'une voiturette tout juste bonne à piquer une place de stationnement laissée vacante par une moto et allergique aux grands espaces ou aux rigueurs de nos hivers. Il semble que vous devrez bientôt revoir vos normes d'évaluation de cette microvoiture réputée pour ses dimensions minuscules et sa consommation frugale. C'est en effet avec des Smart Fortwo que Mercedes-Benz a décidé de relever le défi du Grand Nord canadien et de participer à une sorte de raid hivernal qui partira de Kelowna, en Colombie-Britannique, pour se rendre jusqu'à Inuvik, dans les Territoires du Nord-Ouest, avec retour à Vancouver, un voyage d'environ 7500 kilomètres qui se déroulera du 26 janvier prochain au 6 février. Pas moins d'une demi-douzaine de Smart conduites par des équipes de journalistes automobiles canadiens prendront la route pour la première étape de ce marathon des neiges qui durera 10 jours en tout. L'accès à trois océans Pour avoir participé à une expédition semblable il y a environ 30 ans avec des camions Ford, je peux vous dire que l'expérience est ambitieuse. À l'époque, le Dempser Highway venait tout juste d'être complété après de longues tergiversations du gouvernement fédéral. D'une longueur de 671 kilomètres, la route permettait de traverser le cercle arctique en joignant la route du Klondike à celle du delta du Mackenzie, qui mène à Inuvik et à l'océan Arctique. Le Canada devenait ainsi le seul pays au monde à avoir un accès routier à trois océans. Le Dempster Highway est construit en hauteur sur une base de plus de deux mètres de gravier afin d'éviter que le permagel endommage la couche supérieure du revêtement. Est-il besoin de préciser que c'est un endroit où on ne s'aventure pas seul ou sans une bonne préparation. Le froid y est intense, la neige abondante, les pièges de la route nombreux et les animaux féroces. Les équipages et les Smart auront à faire face à des conditions extrêmes considérées comme les plus rigoureuses sur la planète. Les diverses étapes de cette expédition traverseront les villes ou villages de Quesnel, Fort St. John, Muncho Lake et Whitehorse avant d'aboutir à Inuvik pour entreprendre le chemin inverse. Si la Smart peut relever ce défi, elle aura fait preuve d'une adaptabilité à tous les milieux et d'une polyvalence que l'on ne lui connaissait pas.
  11. There are surprisingly many Smart Cars in Halifax, a many dozens for sure!Not a day without seeing one on my bike commute.I also counted up to 6 in Truro on a single day, not bad at all!MC
  12. HelloI got a Saris rack, very light, that I put on the hitch.This way, I can carry 2 bikes at a time!MC
  13. I have one too, red and silver, like my Smarty, but no logo on it. Too cute!MC
  14. HelloI don't think so, at least, never heard of it in more than 2 years I have been driving a Smart car in Halifax... But the best person to ask would be Kyle at Smart O'Regans.Enjoy the drive!MC
  15. HelloWe also recently installed a hitch on our SmartCar (Thanks SCU!). We put the Saris bike rack on it (see message above).2 light road bikes, all the triathlon stuff in the trunk, and quite an attraction in the parking lot when we got to the race.Not only the race was fun (Bridgetown triathlon, Nova Scotia), but we probably had the most fuel efficient way to get there!
  16. HelloYou know this current promotion with Ultramar where you get a rebate of $1 (or more, but most often $1) with a coupon?Well, it says that you have to buy 25L of fuel to get the rebate.We always got it in the past despite the fact that we were buying less than 25L of diesel, for the obvious reason that you can't put 25L of diesel in our 450.Well, today the guy said no. Sorry guys, this is the rule. I know it is not fair, but this is the rule.I see their point, but isn't it ridiculous? Same for motorcycle drivers, I guess they can get their rebate.Oh well, what is a dollar now, with the actual price... they started this promotion a few years ago, then the price of fuel was around 70 cents/l. It was like giving one litre of free fuel. Now, it is like giving 2/3 of fuel. Anybody else had a experience like that? At least, place like Sobeys and Superstore still give their 3.5 cent/l to Smart car owner! I don't really about the $$, it is so little, but it is more the "rule and principle" that frustrate me... Anyhow, I wish you all a nice week-end!
  17. HelloI managed to fit my road/triathlon bike inside my car last year.Was quite a show when I got to the event!!!MC
  18. HelloThe demo have been sold... I just ordered a new one!MC
  19. Hey!I commute to work on my bike everyday. A big 5-6 km return! :)During winter, I either walk, or take the bus (bus pass included in University fees).My partner drives the Smart car to work, about 18 km return.(No bike route to where he works, mainly highway).Overall, we are relatively green commuters. We will even sell our 2nd car (the non-Smart car!) soon, because we never use it since we moved "in the city" about 7 months ago.Unfortunately however, Halifax is not a very bike friendly city... MC
  20. Cute cartoon found on
  21. HiDo you still have the class 1?any way you could ship one to the East Coast? What would be the cost?Thanks,MC
  22. HiI can't find a place in Halifax that has experience in installing a hitch on a Smart car. Anybody has experience in Nova Scotia, especially the HRM area?Thanks,
  23. La Smart bien notée en matière de sécurité- Agence France-Presse Washington14 mai 2008 | 12 h 27La Smart «Fortwo» de Daimler, la plus petite voiture sur le marché américain, a obtenu les meilleurs scores aux tests de sécurité réalisés sur les véhicules de même catégorie publiés mercredi aux États-Unis.Selon un communiqué de l'Institut d'Assurance pour la Sécurité des Autoroutes (IIHS), les tests comparés entre petites voitures ont montré que «la 2008 Smart Fortwo a remporté le plus haut classement en matière de protection en cas de choc frontal et latéral».Avec cette voiture, la plus petite que l'agence gouvernementale ait jamais testé, «les ingénieurs de la Smart ont fait leur travail et ont introduit un haut niveau de sécurité dans un très petit espace», écrit l'Institut d'assurance.La Smart, qui mesure 2,50 mètres et n'a que deux places, est classée comme une «micro-voiture» et a été testée face aux mini-voitures de catégorie similaire qui toutefois sont toutes plus lourdes et volumineuses.La Smart mesure 91 cm de moins et pèse 317 kilos de moins que la Mini Cooper, note l'institut qui souligne que le véhicule citadin de Daimler pèse trois fois moins que la BMW X5, un des véhicules testés dans la même catégorie.Les essais de l'institut testent comment des voitures sensiblement de même taille et de même poids se comportent lors de chocs frontaux ou latéraux.«La Smart a un design efficace contre les crashs pour sa taille et dispose des équipements les plus récents en matière de sécurité, ce qui est important pour un petit véhicule», dit encore l'IIHS.La Smart Fortwo a été introduite aux États-Unis en janvier et Daimler ambitionne de vendre entre 20 000 et 25 000 exemplaires via 68 points de ventes.