More than any other countries I’ve visited, Germany and Austria reflected my own predilection for small cars. Though you see quite a number of vans and mid-sized luxury sedans, small is definitely in, mostly (I suppose) for practical reasons. In a small town at Lake Constance, the owner of this small delivery vehicle was quite puzzled why I wanted to take a picture of it:

while in München, we saw this lovingly maintained Morris Mini:

The absolute king of the small-car universe, however, seems to be the Mercedes/Swatch-built Smart two-seater. Here’s a nice one:

and of course, the XRay plates are very cool – wish I had one!

While the basic Smart can be found in Europe for 8500 Euros and up (US$9400), here in Brazil prices start at R$75000 (US$25000), because of taxes and import duties. Supposedly the Mercedes factory in Brazil will start to build Smarts in a couple of years; unfortunately, they’ll probably be the larger four-seat model. A pity, the two-seater is just 2.5m long and the ideal car for congested large cities…