Whatever you think of the diminutive city cars produced by Daimler's Smart brand, the company certainly has a talent for marketing.
The latest ad from Smart Canada has the same sort of self-deprecating humor that Volkswagen used for years when advertising its Beetle--another rear-engined small car loved and hated in equal measure.
The Smart Fortwo Electric Drive wouldn't be your first choice for drag racing, but that's exactly what Smart is doing here.
It's first challenger? A Ford Mustang. Maybe it's a V-6, you think. Perhaps the Smart has a chance... until the Mustang rockets away leaving the two-seat city car in its wake.
Next up is an Audi A5, to which the Smart suffers a similar fate. And things are no better lined up against a Porsche Boxster.
So why has Smart put its little electric car against three vehicles it hasn't a hope of beating?
The answer comes towards the end of the ad, with the tagline 'Top speed means nothing in the city'.
From there, the camera view raises, to show another line painted five meters from the start line. Smart's message? It's the first five meters that count.
And from our new vantage point, we see the Smart bolt away from the start line, beating each vehicle over the first five meters. Cut to a city street where the electric Fortwo can beat other traffic away from the lights and nip past a parked bus.
It's a sensation familiar to anyone who has driven an electric car--that all-important initial acceleration is often quite strong. An impressive 0-60 mph run is rarely relevant in day-to-day driving, but a car that can dive in and out of gaps in city traffic can be quite useful.
With an electric version of the next-generation Smart Fortwo due once production of regular versions is underway, it's likely drivers of the new car will also be able to enjoy that impressive step-off in city driving.