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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

the new Sputnik

SMART cars are coming to America ~

this is one of the few cars i would actually consider as a replacement for my good o'le pal, sputnik. Hello? ~ at $12-17K per unit, that's just too high for an internal combustion mini-car.

50+mpg is pretty nifty n' all ... who am i kidding, i'd get it because they are so frickin' adorable.

I have no idea how valid these crash tests were i vid'd on the Utube ... but man, that's a lot of carnage when it rammed that cement. yeowch.

One of the things i'll never do is purchase a new car. I am a used vehicle man, only. Still, these wee buggars would look so good with a rack on the back!

(commence to make fun of my gey-ass)


Little_Jewford said...

word is Honda will have hybrid Fit next year in the 16K range....then you can have a heard O' Hondas...

PAB(a.k.a.CID) said...

make fun?

where should I begin??


personally, I am waiting for someone to market the 40mpg Suburban.

chatterbox said...

dude, love the smart car. first saw it in rome, circa 2001. saw one at woodside bakery a couple weeks ago.

the reason it's been so slow to come is they had to make it up to our crash standards so it can fight with the land bruisers, ford excessives, etc.

you can change the body panels and color of the car for a couple hundred bucks.

they also have a roadster, which is tres chic.

Auffderbach said...

Well, it is Black in color...sorta fits right in with your color scheme and all.
There's this guy known as the annoying devil who is on channel 22
or something like that in London who drives one and the locals there
just LOVE him. You can find him on

Phipps said...

I saw these in France about 3 years ago and lusted after it since I live in SF and have to park on the street. I can't tell you how many spots in my 'hood this would fit into that no other car would.

A big SUV slid out and totaled my beloved VW Golf on the way down to Sea Otter last month, so now I'm driving a teammate's old Caravan and parking in another zip code, but at least I can fit 3-4 bikes in the back without taking off the wheels.

shawndoggy said...

interesting thing about the mileage... seeing as you are a "bikes inside" kinda guy... guarantee that once you slap a rack on that that you are getting 30s if you are lucky. and I pity the fool who tries to get a stage race's worth of crap into one of them lil' rigs.

As an enviro statement it makes mucho more sense to drive your aging POS into the ground than to support the consumption of resources necessary to make that whole new vehicle. Them cars ain't made outa hemp and corn after all.

The better plan for nearly ALL of us would be to have scooters or small displacement motorcycles. Great mileage, greatly reduced congestion, fun, and not too painful for average 'round town trips.

L. Christmas said...

Smart cars are great! And if you still insist on having a monster truck.. you CAN!

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i love monster mini pick.

racks aren't on top, sdawgy, they'd be rear mount. that's just silly.

but here's hoping Sputnik has many thousands of more miles under his hood.

that boy is one freak of a sherpa. and i love him for it.

by the time i have to replace that machine, we might have hover-vehicles powered by jello, for all i know.

lauren said...

we've been talking about getting an older mercedes station wagon and running biodiesel in it.

not very chic, but whatever.

shawndoggy said...

Yeah I know. A roof rack on that car and I doubt you could reach CA freeway speeds! Rear racks still have an impact, esp on "more aero" cars. That car is narrow enough that the wheels will hang around the sides of the car like a parachute.

As far as space efficiency: fuel economy ratio goes, nothing beats the minivan.

trac said...

sputnick looks like an overgrown rolly-polly bug.

the smart car looks like a runty overgrown rolly-polly bug.

so at least you have consistency in taste.

p.s. i like rolly pollies.

Kirkpatrick MacMillan said...

Hey Shawndoggy, Do you have the facts to back up the notion to continue driving my POS vs. buying a new 40+mpg'er? I've been wondering about that equation for the past couple of years.

Am I more green if I mothball my low mileage POS and buy someone elses used high mileage POS? Since it's already been built and all.

jAndy donka-donk said...

I would be afraid to drive in anything that can result in my decapitation by soccer mom hummer driver on a cell phone.....

That would make one hell of a go cart though......

almost looks like a sprint car without the huge fairing.....

Little_Jewford said...

I hope by the time I need a new car there is a 50+ mpg hybrid SUV so I can justify getting it, get all hopped up on coke and pull a Pantani

Anonymous said...

Do you have any trouble getting Sputnik to pass a smog test? My dinosaurs get keep getting tougher to pass each time.

Johnny Sprocket said...

Quit worrying about high or low mileage POS' and get your ass back on the bike. That's the highest mileage of all. I've been trying to figure out where the car seats go in this thing.

shawndoggy said...

KM, as the wily craftsman credited for the modern bicycle, I'd think you'd have already had this one licked.

Somebody else ran the numbers here. I'm not an environmental economist, but I think he also missed the disposal cost of whatever eventually happens to your old car when it reaches the end of its useful life, so I'd suspect he somewhat understates the (still substantial) actual enviro cost of the new car.

From a purely econ perspective, if your car now gets 20mpg, and you drive 200 miles per week, you are buying 10g worth of gas. Say your new hybrid or smart or whatever gets a whopping sixty mpg, then you only need 3.3g of gas. At $4 per gallon, you will "save" about $30 per week. But figuring in the higher registration and insurance costs of a new car in addition to the initial outlay (assuming you aren't trading in an F40 or a Diablo for a Prius), it could be YEARS till you reach an economic break-even, at which point it could be time to start thinking about replacing that huge array of lead-acid batteries that your hybrid is hauling around....

russellp said...

I'm all for driving my current heap into the ground before replacing it as the most sensible thing to do. Heck, I'd probably even get 30mpg in it if I didn't think I'd get death threats for driving 50mph on the freeway...

A nerd-jerk reflex response to SD's last post:

Those Prii are currently running nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries...sort of nicer than lead-acid. And a lot lighter, making the Prius viable.

The next-generation 2008 Prius is expected to be powered by even-lighter lithium ion batteries, the same kind currently powering laptops. And, uh, the same kind that got recalled for spontaneously combusting inside Dell laptops...

X Bunny said...

i love it when bellaslaveboy talks all nerdy!

i wonder who was sputnik's previous owner....?

Anonymous said...

Hey Hernando, when you gonna sputnik over to the Tuesday twinkle-light thing?

...can't wait.

... and don't come as a spectator. Bring your spandex and road-scum machine.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

the san joser twilights?

i'm gonna try and get over next week ... but, it's a 60min drive back to the house from them buggars.

if i can get Sabine to go from her work in Morgan Hill, though...

Anonymous said...

Biodiesel is an excellent interim solution, especially for those living in the Bay Area. Check here for pump locations near you.

It may constrain your array of vehicle options, but so what?

Brent said...

VW should have some biodiesel capable vehicles in the next year beyond the lonely passat wagon this year.

I read recently that the Prius might have a plug in version to mass market within next year.

The smart forfour and smart roadster interest me and been waiting to see those.

I really think you should get the ZAP-X

If its an SUV that you want try BLUETEC:

and more good info;