An electric-drive smart or Smart car plugged in at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon, above and below.


As a onetime newspaper copy editor, my biggest question about a mini-car called smart is why it's often written with a lower-case "S."

Does this automotive small fry with so-so mileage from a 1-liter, three-cylinder engine -- less efficient than most hybrids -- have an inferiority complex?

The tiny two-seater is "engineered with Mercedes-Benz," according to the Web site, and sold by Mercedes dealers.

The size of the car doesn't give me too much confidence in a world dominated by enormous, gas-guzzling SUVs that are usually driven way over the speed limit, including those from Mercedes, Land Rover, GM and Porsche.

This tiny car's passenger compartment is called a "safety cell," which was inspired by "race-car roll cages." 

That's great. Now, when I see a smart or Smart on the road, I'll recall all the racing cars I've watched doing barrel rolls.

The electric-drive version has an MSRP of $20,740.



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