Monday, March 19, 2007

An 80mpg Fish

I recently test drove a Smart fortwo at my local Benz dealership and was very impressed on the whole. The tiny car feels much bigger than you'd think, and you don't really notice that there's nothing behind you as you drive - probably due to the fact that the little 799 cc diesel is rumbling away back there. The car drives nicely, corners well and is great fun to drive - a little like a go-kart. I won't be buying one, however, because the one major downside is a ride that is firmer than the Tory vote in Alberta. For my long distance commute over frost-heaving country roads, this would just be too tiring.

Mercedes is bringing diesel power to more of its range in North America this year; the first of the BlueTec clean diesels will debut in Mercedes soon and in Volkswagens in 2008. With Canada just finding its inner Green, perhaps people might wake up to the benefits of diesel power soon.

All of which is a fancy lead up to Mercedes latest eco-concept. The Bionic is modelled on a fish, of all things, but apparently travels well on land, with 0-100km/h in 8 seconds and 80mpg fuel economy - and all without a battery or hybrid system in sight.