The new Canadian Car

by Yule Heibel on March 3, 2005

For the past several weeks, I have been seeing, on average, one-point-something Smart Cars zipping about on Victoria’s streets. They’re different cars every time — all colours: orange, cranberry red, brown, black, grey, black, you name it. I have found this puzzling, and have wondered whether there’s some kind of blitz underway. “Saturate with Smart Cars,” or something like that. It’s certainly the case that you can’t miss seeing the thing, if you see it — I mean, you won’t mistake it for some other brand of car, or just think you saw it. As Eddie said (via AbFab), they’re a licorice allsorts on wheels.

Today I see that General Motors Canada plans to invest CDN$2.5 billion in its Canadian operations, prompting speculation that perhaps we will see the emergence of a true Canuck-mobile.

According to the Toronto Star‘s article, Ken Okuyama, creative director of Italy’s Pininfarina and designer of the CDN$1 million Enzo Ferrari, is thinking about it. (See this link for a “graphic” [pdf] of a possible “Canadian car” by Okuyama.]

And yet: …. one really has to hand it to the Smart Car. The new Canadian Car, should it materialise, will have to be the kind of automobile that, if it wants to beat the cute-looking Licorice-Allsorts-mobile, eats squirrels for breakfast while simultaneously assuaging our pluralistic live-and-let-live Canadian mentality. This could be fun!


melanie March 4, 2005 at 5:48 am

I would save up to buy a Smart Car, except that I need boot (trunk) space!

Yule Heibel March 4, 2005 at 11:36 pm

Hah! It’s true, there isn’t much in the rear end on that car! But they are incredibly cute, and it’s a weird thing to see them sort-of saturate a market. Today I saw a steel grey one, yesterday a pale lemony-lime green one. Between them and the Mini (which is also ubiquitous around here) as well as the typical antique roadsters (very popular here because the mild climate means they never rot away), one sometimes feels as though one lives in this fun bumper-car environment. Too bad the damn things still run only on gas!

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