The sensational story of smart traces the decade-long history of this ambitious project, talking to key figures from every stage of the program and building a vivid picture of an idea ahead of its time. The story of smart is an epic tale of genius, inspiration, hope, disappointment, disaster, and ultimately . . . triumph.
Where is smart headed today?
This book might have the answers you seek.
WHO MAKES IT? SMART, a division of DaimlerChrysler www.smart.com (specs are a little different for the newer cars....)
HOW BIG IS THE ENGINE?
600cc or .6 liters
WHATS THE GAS MILAGE?
62mpg on the Highway
45mpg in the City
HOW BIG IS THE GAS TANK?
HOW FAST CAN IT GO?
WHERE CAN I GET ONE?
Europe. Canada, Mexico, They are not available in the USA.
HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?
This car, in Europe, would cost around $12,000 new.
Can I just order one and have them send it to me?
Sure, go ahead, it will just get seized by Customs.
Then you will be really mad.
Then, how did you import this one?
I didnt, it belongs to a German friend who brought it over to use while he is here in the US. This is allowed. But he cannot sell the car to a US citizen and it must go back in about a year.
Then how do I get one?
Wait for 2007, they plan to make a world version of the Smart ForTwo that will be available in the USA.
(note for car buffs: The possibility exists that the brand may be terminated entirely. Or Not. Also- just because they might make a US compliant version does not mean they will launch it in the US in 2007.)
I heard they were available to Canada ?
Yes, the SMART Fortwo model was available to Canada in 2005, but it will only be the CDI TurboDiesel model and they are only planning to sell 800 units the first year (in all of Canada!)
Canada Update June 30 2004:
The entire 2005 allotment of 800 units has already been SOLD OUT!
The prices start at $17,000 CDN and go up from there, actual list prices have not been determined yet for ANY of the other models!
The cars are still being converted to Canadian Standards and will be available to those first on the list in September 2004.
Canada Update July 25 2005:
Mike Tippett in Canada just informed me that 1347 Smart ForTwos were sold in the 2004 Calendar year in Canda and that a total of 3798 Smarts have been sold to date, 3716 of these are 2005 models, 82 are 2006 model year cars. thanks Mike!
So why don't I just buy one from Canada and drive it into the US?
Last time I checked Canada is ANOTHER COUNTRY, like France, Germany or Spain. While it is "easier" to possibly get the vehicle into the US, you will still have the same problems with Customs that you would have if you purchased one in Europe and had it shipped. You will also not be able to register it and get plates for it to legally drive it in the US.
Is there any Company that can CONVERT one of the Diesel Smart ForTwo models from Canada for use in the USA?
Not unless you want to wait a few years and spend maybe $250,000.....
Here is a nice link that describes some of the things you would need to do to import a Classic Car into the US and it also describes how the "Tourist Visa" thing works for more recent cars (like this one)...sort of.
What about that company that is supposed to be importing them and converting them, why not just buy one from them? While there is a real gray market importer that has been working to convert the Smart ForTwo model for resale in the US and they have made significant progress with Federal Approval, they are not there yet AND it has to go through many hands before it actually gets to the End Buyer and each hand it passes through has to take a cut. Claims of "base price of $15K" are a bit misleading, if these cars do become available through the gray market importer, I seriously doubt you will see any priced below $20K. Also- rumour has it that they only are getting approval to import and convert 2003 model Smart ForTwo cars and ONLY the high-end trim line (Passion).
So one would have to assume that they either stocked up on these back in 2003, or they are getting USED cars from European Rental places cheap, bringing them to the States and then converting them. Every month they announce they are almost ready and then it never happens. As of March 01 2005, there were still no converted Smart ForTwos available for sale to US Citizens. Lots of Press Releases, but not much action. Hope Springs Eternal......
Update June 2005: They can finally "sell" them, but again, they can only do so THROUGH their "franchised dealers". And they will cost about $25K per car. They have not released a list of their Franchised Dealers yet.
Update July 25 2005: despite lots of press releases you STILL cannot go out and purchase a Smart Car in the USA. There is NO list of Dealers? Why not?
Should I buy a Smart ForTwo on eBay? I don't think you should, you will probably get stuck not being able to register it for road use. I've seen several sellers OUTSIDE of the USA offer used Smart ForTwos for sale on eBay and they say they will ship to the USA, but that's all they will do. Once the car hits the port in the USA, any Customs problems are yours!
September 13 2005:
Unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in Germany, a concept version of what the "next" version of the Smart Fortwo may look like when it hits the USA in 2007: