Invite for new Smart car drive in Zetland..
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  1. #1
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    Invite for new Smart car drive in Zetland..

    I got an invite some months ago by Mercedes in Zetland to drive the new Smart car. Have been to Zetland this morning and drove the car. I was told however that they are allowed to sell 60 per month and they have all sold already however. I was also told there is a 2-3 month waiting list for them.Not that most people on here will care much the cars being german, but they are a pretty spritely little car for the city. The one i drove i think was the 700+cc model with a turbo. The turbo was like the size of an egg cup however. The engine was hidden at the back under the rear parcel section, removable with a small hand screw.It was a pretty good little car to drive. Only 45kw but it felt like had plenty of torque. I was also told that the panel change can be done if people like for AUD$2000. Something i would imagine not many people would do often.
    They had lots of little accessories too there which were nice.
    I hear you ask why is this guy going on about these things?
    Well when I was in Europe last I hired one and drove it around and was pretty impressed by it. The dealership wont have the towers like they have in some parts of Germany however the guy told me today.

    Just for your information..

    <a href="http://www.smartaustralia.com.au" target="_blank">www.smartaustralia.com.au</a>

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! billtran's Avatar
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    Daniel,

    How did you find the handling and ride? Did it feel a bit unstable at speed?

    I don't know why I love the Smart. It's so irrational but I love the styling.
    You're not paranoid if everyone hates you.

  3. #3
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    I didnt really get up to any real speed in the thing around the streets of Alexandria. It felt ok at the speeds i was at though. The steering was so precise it wasnt funny, just turn the wheel and the car goes off to the side...

  4. #4
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    You didnt get up to speed??? Were you by yourself or did a sales person go with you?

    If i took that thing out for a test drive by myself, i'd make sure i 'tested' that short wheelbase with about a dozen doughtnuts at the shopping center car park... head_ban

  5. #5
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    billtran:
    How did you find the handling and ride? Did it feel a bit unstable at speed?
    billtran,

    I saw smart cars doing 120km/h - 130km/h down the M40 motorway heading west out of London last July. I was amazed! They seemed stable enough, zipping in and out of lanes with no troubles at all. I'd imagine that engine is doing some hugely high number of revs at those speeds though!

    Derek.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts n b j's Avatar
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    danielsydney:

    was also told there is a 2-3 month waiting list for them.Not that most people on here will care much the cars being german, but they are a pretty spritely little car for the city. The one i drove i think was the 700+cc model with a turbo. The turbo was like the size of an egg cup however. The engine was hidden at the back under the rear parcel section, removable with a small hand screw.It was a pretty good little car to drive. Only 45kw but it felt like had plenty of torque. I was also told that the panel change can be done if people like for AUD$2000.


    Mate a very close friend of mine has been importing Smart Cars into Australia now for the last 10-12 months, He has been the only one, he won a contract and beat Merc' to it. Every smart car that you see on the roads here are imported by him, (cept for the small number merc' have in their show rooms) he has imported around 400 or more now. Mercedes benz are currently in court with the Aus Dept. of Fair Trading and could get ****edup bad by it... Long story but they are being very anti competative over this smart car thingy and hate my mates guts to the extent of all kinds of threats, as well as undercutting him, etc..
    My mate can get you a smart car imported from Germany within a couple of months.

    lemme know, btw, I have driven a hot smart, with a Brabus Kit, and lowered to the BS, lovely handling car, rear wheel drive, it Kains!!!!! I loved it.
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  7. #7
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    nbj that is a very interesting message you wrote. I could quite believe what you have written. Its amazing isnt it....

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! bennymarsh's Avatar
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    Forgive my Naivety, but what is a smart car exactly? They just look like small versions of a barina? mallet I certainly wouldnt want to have a crash in them! But more importantly, what is the point of them?

    Benny
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  9. #9
    2000+ Brad's Avatar
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    Small, lightweight, very recyclable, efficient, hitech. They are a niche market granted, but they do have appeal for those seeking something a bit different. My boss has bought one as a semi-company car (adding to his fleet of 4 other personal cars). These things are only 2.4m long, meaning they can park nose/tail in into any standard parallel carpark which is a minimum of 2.4m wide.

    My bet is that Councils and companies who wish to make an eco-statement to the market place will use these in the same way the hybrid Prius and Insight are used.
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  10. #10
    Simon's Avatar
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    Duttons in Melbourne had a couple of new ones in their showroom just on a month ago now.
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  11. #11
    1000+ Posts silverexec's Avatar
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    I personally think the Smart cars are a bit on the ugly side, but after browsing their website, they also seem to have a Roadster which looks really cool. approve

    <a href="http://www3.smart.com/-snm-0135062484-1055321797-0000003174-0000000016-1055746114-enm-NBPBGACAKNJNKIOOFCHIOEBH/roadster/IVO_Frameset.asp?country=int&language=en" target="_blank">http://www3.sm art.com/-snm-0135062484-1055321797-0000003174-0000000016-1055746114-enm-NBPBGACAKNJNKIOOFCHIOEBH/roadster/IVO_Frameset.asp?country=int&language=en</a>

    There doesn't seem to be any mention about release dates in Australia, although the website gives the impression that it should be available here.

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  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! billtran's Avatar
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    danielsydney:
    I didnt really get up to any real speed in the thing around the streets of Alexandria. It felt ok at the speeds i was at though. The steering was so precise it wasnt funny, just turn the wheel and the car goes off to the side...
    I'm suprised you mentioned about the steering. I know that in development, MB had a very hard time giving the car some sort of stability (anyone here remember the infamous moose test?) So to counter that, I thought MB would have dialed in a lot of understeer.

    Originally posted by Deka:

    I saw smart cars doing 120km/h - 130km/h down the M40 motorway heading west out of London last July. I was amazed! They seemed stable enough, zipping in and out of lanes with no troubles at all. I'd imagine that engine is doing some hugely high number of revs at those speeds though!
    I just wonder how hard the ESP must have been working... a_drink
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  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger!
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    all fine - but how much are they $ ... can i expect bang for my buck or am i looking to spend the same amount as an RS Clio or 206GTI?
    ashleyt

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  14. #14
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    $21990

    For the money I'd buy a C3 Manual Exclusive, or the new Peugeot 206 XRS 1.6L 3 door for slightly more.

    Derek.

  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger!
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    i actually thought they were more ... (i'd heard around 30k)

    i agree for 22k i wouldn't hesitate buying a C3
    ashleyt

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  16. #16
    1000+ Posts n b j's Avatar
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    I think the Smart cars are good for promo cars.

    I saw 5 of them late last year all towing small trailers with promo signs all over them, they looked hot, real head turners! But I think they are pretty over priced for what they are, I think they are more of a trendy fasion statement then anything else. 2_cents
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    I think the now famous moose test was with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.....

    BTW, the much publicised and recorded on film test that showed the A-Class flipping was a load of crap. The magazine that did it, later admitted that they had fitted much wider tyres to one side of the vehicle to generate the grip required to flip the car.......But hey, don't let that stand in the way of good video footage

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! bennymarsh's Avatar
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    Ok, so now that you have cleared up that they are very small and compact cars for me, what sort of engines, petrol requirements, etc do they have on them? The web site doesn't really say all that much? I mean i assume they would be pretty cheap to run. And do they have electric motors? Cause that would be the "smart" thing to have in them wouldn't it to save the environment?

    Ben

    <small>[ 18 June 2003, 02:05 PM: Message edited by: bennymarsh ]</small>
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  19. #19
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    Ben,

    698cc turbo charged petrol with 6 speed sequential manual transmission.

    Electric cars actually aren't the best for the environment, yet. How do we generate electricity? Coal. What generates a huge proportion of greenhouse gases in Australia? Coal fired power stations.

    I'd say the smart is pretty smart in that it wouldn't use much fuel and they certainly help with road congestion as the length of the vehicle is only 2.4m

    Derek

  20. #20
    1000+ Posts n b j's Avatar
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    Agreed wink

    And they are fun to park. I was in perth in one, we were in the CBD and you can just park them (rear to curb) in between two paralell parked cars wink ehehhe They will even fit in the little Motorbike park spots!
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  21. #21
    Fellow Frogger! bennymarsh's Avatar
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    Fair enough!

    Thanks for all that info

    Ben
    206 1.6 XT Auto China Blue in the house.

    Hopefully soon to be C3...or C2.....owner.....maybe.....one day....I hope!!!!!

  22. #22
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    n b j:
    We were in the CBD and you can just park them (rear to curb) in between two paralell parked cars wink ehehhe They will even fit in the little Motorbike park spots!
    n b j,

    Apparently this isn't legal in Australia (yet) and Mercedes Benz hasn't been successful in pursuading the government to change the law to accomodate the small vehicles. So.. unfortunately if you park in a motorbike spot or reverse into a small spot like you see people doing in smarts in Europe you're liable to get a parking fine disappro

    Hopefully this will change soon

    Derek

  23. #23
    Fellow Frogger! bennymarsh's Avatar
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    Now that i think about it, would it actualy save that much room parking perpendicular to the curb, because if you try and squeeze into a small spot, how would you open the doors to get out? Also your likely to get your doors parked in. And if someone is a crap parker (or hasn;t anyone been watching australias worst drivers?) they are more likely to do damage hitting your side panel than your bumper????

    Benny
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    Hopefully soon to be C3...or C2.....owner.....maybe.....one day....I hope!!!!!

  24. #24
    1000+ Posts n b j's Avatar
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    Good point wink I havn't seen Aus's worst drivers though. lol

    But I guess you could carry a spare set of panels for you smart that you use for like "every day city parking" use, then on the weekends, unclip them and put on your smick looking panels wink Thats the cool thing about smart cars, you can change the look of you car pretty easily by cliping on new panels wink ehhehe, thats doors, front rear bummpers and some other panels..
    "Do my eyes deceive me, or is Senna's Lotus sounding rough ?" - Murray Walker
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  25. #25
    Fellow Frogger! bennymarsh's Avatar
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    Maybe we should buy my sister one then, replaceing panels easily would be a very good benifit in a car for her! :p mallet

    Benny roll_lau
    206 1.6 XT Auto China Blue in the house.

    Hopefully soon to be C3...or C2.....owner.....maybe.....one day....I hope!!!!!

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