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Damn you DaimlerChrysler!

Mon Nov 14, 2005 The Webgeek 

Two summers ago, I went to London England for a couple of weeks. While there, I saw tonnes of the now-popular smart car fortwo coupes zipping around. I thought they were a hoot. But I also saw their sexy cousins: The Roadster. Damn this thing looked great. Lower, wider, and sleeker than the fortwo; it was a nimble, hot little vehicle that looked like a phenomenally fun ride, regardless of its eco-friendliness. It was the first (and still only) "eco-vehicle" that I truly wanted.

When I heard that they were going to be introduced to North America, I figured it'd be an interesting experiment, and assumed the roadster, with its sleeker styling would have made the hop across the pond first (and I wasn't the only one who thoughts so). Obviously, I was wrong.

Now, the fortwo is doing remarkably (here in Ottawa at any rate). I see them everywhere. But it's being driven primarily by people that (let's be honest here) appear to have an extremely high granola content in their diets. It's "the sensible, cute car" for urban eco-fiends. It's the second car you buy for the kids and the daily commute. It's the vehicle you buy because it's the "right" thing to do. It's the "moral victory" of vehicular purchases. So, on the heels of it's success, you'd think the roadster would make the jump next, right? Nope. They've instead decided to discontinue the roadster all together. Instead, they're making a Mini-SUV. So, essentially, they're going after the same market the fortwo has, only for people with kids and/or a dog.

What are these idiots thinking? If you want the average North American male (like me) to buy a smart car, it can't look like a shopping cart. The roadster doesn't. The Roadster (Specifically the beefier BRABUS) would have been the perfect eco-friendly car to bring to the North American market. It's sexy. It's fast. It's cheap (especially compared to other roadster type cars) and it's fun. It's the perfect vanity vehicle for a middle aged guy who doesn't want to drive a mini-van all the time. He still gets to tell his wife and kids that it's an eco-friendly "sensible" vehicle, but he doesn't feel like he's driving a shoe box on wheels. It's the car that would make guys (like me) think "ya, I could drive that". Guys who (like me) want to be good global citizens, but want a zippy little toy too. This was that car. Now it's no more.

Damn you DaimlerChrysler.

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