2009 Smart fortwo
No sooner did the 'Cash for Clunkers' legislation pass the Senate and get signed by President Obama than carmakers started marketing around it.
The program won't officially launch until next month, but Smart is already pointing out that its 2009 Smart ForTwo is eligible for the highest voucher level of $4,500.
The car traded in has to be rated at 18 miles per gallon or lower, and to get that maximum voucher, the new car must do at least 10 mpg better. At an EPA rating of 33 mpg city / 41 mpg highway, the 2009 Smart ForTwo nails it with room to spare.
The Smart marketing program lets former clunker owners (officially, they're participants in the program now named Car Allowance Rebate Scheme, or CARS) pay as little as $99 per month for a brand-new Smart ForTwo.
Eager buyers can register beforehand on the Smart website, and Smart will notify them later in the summer once the program has officially kicked off.
We're still not sure how many owners of old, large, and most likely domestic sedans worth less than $4,500 will want to trade them in for a tiny three-cylinder, two-seater made in France, but stranger things have happened.
And if they did, that would certainly accomplish all three goals of the program: Spur auto sales, reduce emissions, and increase average fuel economy.
So: Are you feeling Smart today, punk? Are you?
1994 Buick Park Avenue, by Flickr user Rienk Mebius