Andy Singer is a cartoonist. Andy singer hates cars. He really hates them. He has published a book of his anti-car cartoons aptly titled CARtoons. The book costs $10 and you can order it here. The book is published by Carbusters Press which is a project of the World Carfree Network. His stuff is really great and he makes a very compelling argument against the steel and plastic boxes so many Americans live by.
If someone had to have a car., a smart fortwo from smart USA would be a clever choice. Having been available in Europe for nearly a decade, the smart is finally coming to the USA. The smart fortwo will be available Q1 2008 but reservations can be made right now at smartusa.com for a refundable $99 deposit. For the US market, the smart fortwo will come in three flavors, all powered by a 71 hp 1.0 liter three-cylinder gasoline engine. The base model ‘Pure’ starts under $12,000 while the ‘well-equipped’ Passion starts just under $14,000 and there will even be a convertible model sold for $17,000.
Six Reasons why I think the smart fortwo is really great:
- This thing is tiny. Just to give you an idea of how hilariously small this car is, take note: two of these suckers can be parked end-to-end in a normal parking space. Three can be parked in a normal space if parked sideways, side by side! (Yes, they are that short. 8.8 feet short.)
- These things come standard with an electro-hydraulic clutch. This means the internal machinery is akin to a manual transmission, however to the driver the car behaves like an automatic transmission vehicle. This allows the fortwo to have the efficiency of a manual with the convenience and ease-of-use of an automatic. A few years ago, these transmissions were only available on Ferraris, BMWs, and Porches. There is no clutch pedal, as a computer automatically actuates the clutch hydraulically and shifts when appropriate. A manual mode is user-selectable and the Passion and Passion Cabrio models come with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel for use when in manual mode.
- Four airbags, ABS, and Stability Control are all standard.
- Power steering is a $450 option. (save $450 and build upper body strength)
- Manufactured by Mercedes, so quality of build and materials should be superb.
- An all-electric fortwo EV is being tested in the UK right now and may eventually be sold in the US.
As my parting gift to you, I leave you with some of my favorite photos of the fortwo.
If it’s good enough for Snoop, it’s good enough for me.