I want to wake up in that city that doesn't sleep and find I'm king of the hill top of the heap [..] If I can make it there I'll make it anywhere - It's up to you!
New York, New York
In the smart ED through New York City
Frank Sinatra sang of the city that never sleeps, of this melting pot of cultures, located on the Hudson River, and for millions of people for decades the first contact with the New World.
New York City. Since the tragedy of 9/11 and the incredible disappearance of the Twin Towers, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge and Miss Liberty - the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island - have once again shaped the often photographed image of this metropolis. A cosmos of its own that simply unites the unbelievable flow of money on Wall Street, the life of artists in SoHo, the working-class neighborhoods in Queens and the elite downtown in one nickname: The Big Apple.
And it was in this Big Apple that I made my very first personal contact with a product that for me represents nothing less than the re-incarnation of the smart brand: the smart electric drive - the first series-produced smart that drives purely electrically. Appropriately in “Big Apple green”.
If what Buddhism can teach us is correct, then we will all be born again and depending on the karma with which we have filled our lives before, we will improve or experience a worse life after reincarnation. Despite all the criticism and the many problems with the topic of market acceptance, the first smart generations seem to have done everything right and to have been given positive karma. Because what the Mercedes-Benz subsidiary is now offering - initially for the US market - is nothing less than the best, most perfect and smartest solution for individual city traffic - that I have been able to drive so far:
smart fortwo electric drive
From the outside the driven smart only looked conspicuous because of its apple-green wrapping and the large “I love New York” lettering, whereby such a compact and well-arranged car in the traffic of New York - between Central Park and the Finance District alone attracts attention due to its small size .
In the midst of yellow taxis and large dark sedans, as well as SUVs with the medium size of overseas cargo containers, the short smart looks like an alien from a distant civilization, a representative of the future. An ambassador for new urban mobility models. Antique and archaic, however, is the morning rush-hour traffic of the million-metropolis.
With its 75 hp electric motor, however, it wins every traffic light sprint on Fifth Avenue and ensures open mouths along our route towards downtown Manhattan. Even the hard-boiled commuters who are spat out in never-ending streams from the underground subway stations lose interest in their Blackberries, iPhones and their half-liter Starbucks coffee mugs and seem seriously interested in this quietly humming, nimble when necessary bustling microcar.
Free from local emissions. For a metropolis like New York in which, despite a huge subway network, millions of people still hurry by appointment each day with their own car or a typical yellow New York cab, it almost seems like a slap in the face of human adaptability that such a clever vehicle has not been part of the street scene for years.
With a range of up to 145 kilometers and the ability to be fully recharged within 6 hours, the smart fits in with people's urban mobility needs, like the established subway.
I nod in agreement. And for the first time in a smart, I'm not doing this because the automated manual transmission causes an uncomfortable interruption in tractive power, but simply out of consent. A smart that is free of gear changes - as if pulled on a rubber band - and accelerates to 4.8 km / h in just 60 seconds - that's what I've been waiting for since the first, including “my” first Smart.
As a smart driver from the very beginning and also as a smart driver with many hours on rather unusual routes, I have finally found exactly the smart driving experience in the smart fortwo electric drive that I have always been waiting for. In the US, the smart will cost $ 25.000, but thanks to strong funding (different from state to state), the numbers planned for 2013 have already been sold!
To say goodbye, I hum the melody of Frank Sinatra's “New York, New York” and think to myself:
“Hey smart ED - if you can make it there - you can make it everywhere. It is up to you! "