30,000 People on Waiting List to Buy a Smart Car in U.S.

SAN JOSE, Calif. --- Smart USA executives told USA Today that 30,000 people have paid $99 to be placed on the list to buy a Smart car when they become available in a couple months.

The tiny car, which looks a lot like a high-end golf cart, gets about 40 miles per gallon on the highway. The 8-foot, 8-inch car has no real hood or trunk.

Smart USA is importing the cars from Daimler, which also makes Mercedes. About 800,000 Smart cars have already been sold in 36 countries, including Canada. The model coming to the U.S., however, was designed from the ground up for this market. There will be three versions: Pure ($11,590), Passion ($13,590) and the convertible Passion Cabriolet ($16,590). All are powered by a three-cylinder, 70 horsepower engine.

The Smart car will be displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.

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