Smartie Pants fortwo: The Passion of the 2009 Smart Car Convertible. VIDEO
Kerplunk! That was me cross a treacherous pothole on the FDR. The car veers to the left, to the right, but I’m so small that I barely even move to the edge of the lane. I’m zipping uptown in the 2009 Smart fortwo Passion cabriolet en route to Tarrytown, a Westchester County ‘burb to drive another car, but that’s another story.
Heads are turning to gaze at Smartie and I. We feel lean, mean and frankly, a little naked, even with the cabriolet top snuggly close. I was warned that I may want to avoid driving on a rainy day, and though the forecast calls for drizzle, I’m taking my chances in what is now slightly overcast skies. With the wiggles on the rocky surface street and small size, it’s hard to remember that the NHSTA gives great ratings for safety.
I wonder if I’m in the best condition to honestly assess Smart. (Try 8 months pg.) But nonetheless, this is the stuff of life, and I’m sure Smart owning ladies get knocked up, too. Never mind the smarting in my backside as I try to adapt to the go-kart like suspension that feel like a ship crashing on high seas. It’s about keeping an eye on the prize – a mouthwatering 41 mpg on a highway somewhat like this one. (In actually, the FDR is more like a city street with all that stop and go, so I’m anticipating more like 33 mpg.
It’s been a whirlwind for Smart since they went on sale Jan. 16. in the U.S. Currently, 69 stores sell Smart nationally, which will grow to 75 by the year’s end. That means 11,400 vehicles and waiting list of 40,000. The average Smart buyer has to wait over a year. “The Micro car segment isn’t a fad, it’s a trend,” Smart spokesperson Ket Kettenbeil says.
Smart feels foreign in it’s punchy handling, which it many ways it is. The US is the 37th country to sell Smart. Formerly a Daimler-Chrysler sidegig, Smart found a new home with Penske Automotive in Michigan. Nothing much will change in the engineering soon, but what is coming are new colors and new options. From the reactions on the street, Smart Drivers are in a peculiar elite cast of their own. They can keep tabs on each other by social networking. For the Smartusainsider.com