This is way off-topic but I thought some readers here might be interested in my new car. Click on the thumbnail to the right to see a larger picture. The picture was taken with an Apple iPhone cell phone camera.
Yes, it is tiny but it already gets better than 40 miles to the gallon around town and should do significantly better on the highway once the engine is broken in. It has two seats, four wheels, a convertible roof and not much else. It is called a SmartCar and is made by Mercedes.
Newsletter readers in Canada, the U.K. and Europe will wonder, "What's the big deal?" SmartCars have been sold outside the U.S. for years. However, these tiny cars are new to the American market with the first ones sold in the U.S. only a few weeks ago. I put my name on a waiting list several months ago and now have had my SmartCar ine for about ten days.
It's a blast to drive and is surprisingly very safe. It has a full roll cage, similar to that of a NASCAR race car. It also earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) highest ratings with the top rating of good for front and side crash protection. In other words, it survives a crash better than most Fords, Chevrolets, Cadillacs, Toyotas and other vehicles we commonly see on the highways.
That's not a bad rating for the smallest car available in the United States. It is more than three feet shorter and almost 700 pounds lighter than a Mini Cooper.
I am now driving the SmartCar more often than my S.U.V. that typically gets 13 miles per gallon (seen in the background in the above photo).