This evening I saw a series of posts in the Hyundai group questioning
why the SMART is not available for sale here in the United States. I
have seen them on trips to England, and they are most interesting.
I lost the thread, but I have found this partial answer to the basic
question on the Net. It may be all wishful thinking by these folks,
but here it is:
1. What type of fuel does the Smart Car use?
Unleaded regular gasoline, 87 Octane. ZAP is focused on models that
use unleaded gasoline, but some models are powered by diesel fuel.
It’s not electric and not a hybrid, but the size and power rating make
it one of the most efficient internal combustion cars in production
today, rivaling the efficiency of the current hybrids in America.
2. When will the Smart Car Americanized by ZAP be available?
Soon, but at ZAP we foresee a huge public demand for this car for
which there may not be enough initial supply to satisfy. Through a
registered import company, ZAP is beginning to distribute cars through
authorized and technically trained dealers. Visit our website at
www.zapworld.com to register your purchase interest and when the cars
become available in your area, we will arrange for you to be alerted
about any purchase opportunities.
3. Where can you buy a Smart Car Americanized by ZAP?
Our goal is to open an auto dealership in your neighborhood where you
would be able to see, test-drive and buy the Smart Car Americanized by
ZAP. ZAP is in the process of mapping out distribution for a complete
line of cars through a distribution network of ZAP Authorized
Retailers. ZAP Auto Dealerships will be pioneers in marketing the next
generation of transportation, targeting marketing opportunities for
energy efficient and advanced automotive technologies.
4. How much does the Smart Car Americanized by ZAP cost?
The Smart Car Americanized by ZAP will be available through selected
auto dealers. The cars come with a multitude of options, accessories
and sub-models, so prices may vary subject to options and
availability. Our initial supply includes many with luxury features,
so pricing may be in the $25,000 range.
5. What is the fuel economy of the Smart Car?
According to the EPA the Smart Car Americanized by ZAP is one of the
most fuel-efficient cars available. Fuel-efficiency can vary depending
on road conditions and vehicle operation. Visit http://www.smart.com
for European test data.
6. How can I become a ZAP dealer?
The timing has never been better to become a dealer for advanced
technology vehicles and ZAP is currently approaching existing auto
dealers to become dealers for ZAP Cars and other vehicles. If you are
an auto dealer or know someone who is, ZAP is recruiting
dealers who will drive the future of transportation by becoming
leaders in their community for the next generation of automotive
technologies that are fun, practical and follow our philosophy of Zero
Air Pollution (ZAP). Contact ZAP Dealer Development at (707) 525-8658.
7. How/why is ZAP able to sell it in the U.S.?
The Smart Car is manufactured in Europe where gasoline is $4 or more
per gallon. It has been on the market in most parts of the world since
1998, but to date has not been made available in the United States.
ZAP took the initiative to bring the car to the United States through
certified direct importers to make them available in the U.S. with
full certification and no exemptions. ZAP has forged an exclusive
technology licensing agreement with Smart-Automobile LLC allowing the
certification of the Smart Car to U.S. EPA and DOT standards as well
as the distribution rights to market the car.
8. The Smart Car Americanized by ZAP is so small; is it safe?
The designers of the Smart Car applied simple laws of physics to
create a smaller car that takes automotive safety to a whole new
level. In a collision, the car reacts in a different way than larger,
conventional cars. The spherical geometry of the vehicle’s “tridion
safety cell” is an aluminum safety-cage with steel reinforcements that
is designed to hold its shape like the crash-cage of a racecar. The
lighter weight combined with wheel wells in the four corners and
safety features like dual airbags, anti-lock brakes and more results
in a car that is safer than cars much larger than it.
9. How fast is the Smart Car Americanized by ZAP? Can it travel on the
85 MPH. The Smart Car Americanized by ZAP is now legal on most U.S.
road and freeways, but designers governed the top speed to enhance the
fuel efficiency. Today’s urban drivers rarely have an opportunity to
reach freeway speeds and the Smart Car was designed with this in mind.
What it gives up in top speed, the car makes up for in drivability and
handling. The 6-speed, on-demand manual/automatic electronic
transmission combined with electronic stabilization creates sporty
package that is fun to drive.