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#112351 - 11/13/07 05:11 AM Re: Would Americans buy a Smart car? [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor
There have been car research prototypes, which can achieve 100 mpg and these prototypes were developed nearly 30 years ago. There really is nothing smart about the Smart Car.
Today it is completely possible using advanced technology to produce a production family car which can attain the goal of 100 mpg.


The British Austin AR6 protoype dating from 1982 was constructed from lightweight Aluminium and composite materials and had a high efficiency 3 Cylinder Diesel engine developed from the K series engine line.

A similar car could be produced using similar recyclable materials and together with improvements in aerodynamics (Giugiaros Ital styling) and electronic regenerative braking and modern computer controlled fuel injection control systems, 100 mpg is easily achievable. To see the future, you sometimes have to look back in to the past.



The problem though, is that a modern version of that vehicle would be significantly heavier. It would need to meet modern safety and emmissions requirements, which add a lot of weight (which hurts fuel mileage). To try and keep the weight down they would need to use expensive light weight materials. You might get the weight down, but then the price shoots way up. As the price goes up, the less people are going to buy it. Few people want a $70,000 family car with no immenaties, even if it does get 100+ mpg. There is always a trade off.

If we didn't have safety and emmissions requirements it would be easy to get 100+mpg. Quite a few production cars in the past got close to 100mpg; the Peel P50, made in the 60's, got well over 100mpg.

Today it's a lot harder than it used to be. I think they could produce them, but I don't think it's financially feasible for any manufacturer currently. Over time, fuel mileage will increase. For right now, your best bet for awesome gas mileage is still a motorcycle/moped. grin

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#112367 - 11/13/07 12:59 PM Re: Would Americans buy a Smart car? [Re: picard120]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2155
Loc: Bucks County PA
Originally Posted By: picard120
would Americans buy a Smart car?


I drove one in Cyprus, and it's noisy, a bit scary (that was mostly because I was driving on the "wrong side" and I suspect that was a big factor), but it's bigger than you'd expect. There's not much cargo space, that's true.

While it has crash-tested and passed, simple physics tell you that a Smart Car vs. a Yukon is going to be a fairly easy contest to predict.

I miss my Dodge Omni, that was a great vehicle!




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#112398 - 11/13/07 08:47 PM Re: Would Americans buy a Smart car? [Re: Art_in_FL]
BrianTexas Offline
Ordinary Average Guy
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 304
Loc: North Central Texas, USA
You need to check out the book, "The Millionaire Next Door". The authors discovered that the most common vehicle owned by millionaires was the Ford F-150 pickup truck.

There's a HUGE difference in being a person of wealthand a person of income. Typically the latter tend to buy newer, expensive cars and larger houses. A true person of wealth is often keeping an older car longer and living in a house more suitable for family size. That's how they accumulate wealth in the first place.

Back to the original question: No, unless the car had room for both my wife and my dog (80 pound Golden Retriever). I'd hate to leave the wife home because I'd sure miss my dog! wink
_________________________
Also known as BrianEagle. I just remembered my old password!

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#112416 - 11/14/07 12:07 AM Re: Would Americans buy a Smart car? [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Quote:
Its just you can't get cars like this in the US.


That's true for a lot of things. Cars & electronics are the two come to mind first.

The 159 looks like a nice package.


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#112417 - 11/14/07 12:14 AM Re: Would Americans buy a Smart car? [Re: Paul810]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Quote:
As far as the fuel costing more, a diesel gets 30% or better mileage than a similar gas engine. With gas at $3.00, diesel would have to be $3.90+ just to break even.


Last fall it was running about 10 cents more per gallon. I'd heard the mileages for diesels were better but the last comparison I did for diesels was motorhomes. The couple that was looking at them was averaging 10+mpg with a gas model. The EPA numbers for diesels at the time were about 8.

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#112419 - 11/14/07 12:22 AM Re: Would Americans buy a Smart car? [Re: James_Van_Artsdalen]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Quote:
stellar mileage if I would just leave the A/C off


It also depends on what you're driving at the time. A/C load on a pick-up isn't worth the discomfort. The load on a small 4cyl. will have a much larger impact. BTDT with the pick-up.

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#112434 - 11/14/07 01:47 AM Re: Would Americans buy a Smart car? [Re: BrianTexas]
RayW Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 559
Loc: Orlando, FL
Saw one of these today, dang is it small. Was driving to work and a smart car pulled out of one the affluent gated neighborhoods that have sprung up around here. This thing is smaller than my Mazda miata. While i might drive one if someone offered up the keys i wouldn't buy one. In a word, it is ugly. Will drive a dirty beat up truck, but can't bring myself to drive an ugly car.

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#112440 - 11/14/07 02:16 AM Re: Would Americans buy a Smart car? [Re: UTAlumnus]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: UTAlumnus

Last fall it was running about 10 cents more per gallon. I'd heard the mileages for diesels were better but the last comparison I did for diesels was motorhomes. The couple that was looking at them was averaging 10+mpg with a gas model. The EPA numbers for diesels at the time were about 8.


In RVs the gas engine is often much less powerful than the diesel (~350hp to ~500hp). The diesel is often a more powerful option, for people who plan on towing with their RV. Therefore, it's like comparing a 4cyl to an 8cyl. When comparing gas and diesel engines, you need to look at similar rated engines in power. The diesel is almost always ahead by a large margin.

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#112463 - 11/14/07 10:15 AM Re: Would Americans buy a Smart car? [Re: MartinFocazio]
saniterra Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 68
Loc: Mebane, NC
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio
Originally Posted By: picard120
would Americans buy a Smart car?


I drove one in Cyprus, and it's noisy, a bit scary (that was mostly because I was driving on the "wrong side" and I suspect that was a big factor), but it's bigger than you'd expect. There's not much cargo space, that's true.

While it has crash-tested and passed, simple physics tell you that a Smart Car vs. a Yukon is going to be a fairly easy contest to predict.

I miss my Dodge Omni, that was a great vehicle!




I drove one in Italy, which can be very scary driving in any car. It worked very well in urban centers, but I was not comfortable at all driving it between urban centers, particularly those roads on which Italians feel comfortable with high speed passing - in a form of line splitting - in the face of oncoming traffic.

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#112465 - 11/14/07 10:28 AM Re: Would Americans buy a Smart car? [Re: saniterra]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1776
i learned to drive in a Smart, although i did it was in a ForFour. It's the larger brother of the ForTwo. The FourFour is like a normal smaller sized car, with four seats.

Considering that there are many other good small and economic cars, i would rather go for a slightly larger car than a ForTwo. Pretty much all manufactures have small and economic cars these days.

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