JIGGLING BARREL OF A LIMO: The chauffeured transportation industry is awash in ideas and suggestions on how to go green. Now we can add the Smart Car to the list. Popularized by the Europeans, the Smart Car is cheap and petite, and small enough to navigate just about any city sidewalk. This stretch version makes us curious; while it undoubtedly gets good gas mileage, does this really satisfy the lust for good livery? Would your clients want to be seen in this itty-bitty smarty-panty of a little limousine, other than those making an "ecological statement?" And how would it compare to a stretch Prius? At first glance, this Smart Car Limo reminds us of that Red Bull promotional vehicle; the Austin Mini with a huge Red Bull can on top. Or the Oscar Meyer Wiener mobile, the bright yellow and orange sausage on wheels.
We also need to bring up a sensitive subject here: weight and obesity. After dining at a steakhouse recently, I felt a bit heavy- laden with cooked cattle and liquor, so thank goodness our limousine was the trusted V-8 Town Car stretch. What if, say, multiple portly passengers roll into the belly of the Smart Car Limo -- will the bumble bee of an engine be able to haul their largesse at freeway speeds? Would the wheels fly off? We at LCT are not convinced this Smart Car Limo is the path to a greener future. I think we'll still opt for the comforts of the Lincolns, Caddies, and Chryslers -- even at $4 a gallon.
-- posted by Martin Romjue
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