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When 7-foot-1 Shaquille O'Neal is spotted buzzing around town in a car that looks like he could wear as a backpack, it's obvious that the way we drive in America has changed dramatically. If the towering Phoenix Suns player thinks it's cool to drive a Smart car, it must be a pretty nifty ride, right?
Shaq isn't the only one getting wise to buying a new car that's good for the earth. Daimler has already sold 14,000 vehicles – twice as many as they projected – since introducing the car to the U.S. market in January (the car is already popular in Europe and Latin America.) Daimler was "smart" enough to introduce the tiny vehicle at a time when Americans were starting to crave smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.
The car is about five-feet tall and five-feet wide (so how Shaq fits in there is anyone's guess), and gets about 41 mpg on the highway due to a technology that allows the engine to turn off when the car is stopped in traffic and start up again when it's time to go. Although the car is gaining in popularity, drivers say they still receive a lot of attention.
"You don't want to be picking your nose while you're driving the car, because everyone's looking," Smart car owner Ron Moreau told Business Week. Now, that's an idea for a paparazzi shot that's bound to sell well. Shaq, you better make sure you have plenty of Kleenex in your glove compartment!