TO THE EDITOR:
The current Smart is the issue ("Mercedes to end Smart sales in U.S., Canada," autonews.com, April 29). It's a Renault Twingo clone, and it shows.
With awkward forms, reminiscent of a brick, the current Smart has little visual charm.
The vitality, energy and superb design of the first Smart is lost. It's no wonder sales have dropped. Getting close to an idea is through refinements and evolution, not sticking an idea onto something else.
The original captured the fun and quirky qualities that as children we are naturally drawn to. With dreary uncreatives as the face of the brand, the electric Smart is an embodiment of those running Smart now. What a great big shame!
Smart needs to be "electrified," and not just by adding a battery. Smart is the perfect city car, but the lure of the original is gone, and competitors using its formula are racing up to gain position.
ROBERT ERSKINE, Senior European correspondent, Autolab Broadcast USA, Wortham, England, Autolab is a live weekly automotive radio broadcast.