The Smart Car Takes A Cue From The Vw Beetle
The Smart car is a rear-engine, rear wheel drive car, and the package level and price have an impact on horsepower the higher the cost, the more power you will have available. If you get the newly released fully electric version, it will come with a three-phase synchronous motor that has 80hp and goes a top speed of 81mph for a full range of 58 miles.
A Brief History Of Smart Cars
Smart car has been around since the late 1980s. At the time, SMH, the company that produces Swatch watches, decided to develop and produce a branded car that relates to the world-known accessories. Realizing that the automobile may face a harsh competition, the CEO of the company and the man behind the whole idea, Nicolas Hayek, tried to combine efforts with an already-popular car manufacturer, Volkswagen. In the beginning of the 1990s, though, Volkswagen abandoned the project and started focusing on designing its own three-liter car. After having been rejected by brands such as BMW, Fiat, and Renault, the Smart project was finally accepted by Daimler-Benz, which now holds 51% of Smart shares.
By allying with Daimler-Benz, the then-called Swatchmobile or Swatch car ultimately ended up saving itself. The giant German car manufacturer did not agree with the two initially proposed names and instead suggested Smart, which is an acronym for Swatch Mercedes Art. Owning a smart car in the 1990s was a rarity, and a poor design has been accused of low sales. Between 2003 and 2006, the company lost almost 4 billion euros. Eventually, after disastrous sales, Smart GMBH became an operating part of the Mercedes-Benz Cars division of Daimler AG.
Fuel economy is the main reason behind choosing a Smart automobile and most models have been specifically designed for people who are single and need to get around easily.
How Safe Is A Smart Car Compared To A Midsize Or Large Car
How safe is the compact category of car? Well, it’s always better to be bigger in an accident. If one of these Smart Cars goes headlong into a Hummer, the Hummer’s going to win. You pay a price for all that protection, however: gas, insurance, the cost of the vehicle itself, maintenance, the cost to fix it were it in an accident, etc.
So, are you better off buying a Smart Car over keeping your 1998 V8? Well, it depends on your goals. If you want to help save the environment, then choose the Smart Car.
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Are Smart Cars Reliable
No, not really, according to statistics. Smart reliability is about middle of the pack, or just below the average. Owners report frequent foibles with their powertrain, as well as some suspension and axle-related issues, although it appears that opinions vary quite dramatically depending on where you source your reliability data. Some owners say theyve had no problems with the car and the larger Forfour generally seems to be just that little bit more dependable than the Fortwo – this doesnt really make sense because they are essentially the same car, only one has two extra doors.
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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Smart No More: Why The End Of The Fortwo Has Been A Long Time Coming
Daimlers Smart brand has announced that its pulled the plug on the U.S. sales of its only model, the Fortwo, which went all-electric just one model year ago.
The decision, according to Mercedes-Benz USA, holds for both U.S. and Canadian markets and has to do, the company says, with high homologation costs for a low volume model. It also doesnt affect the arrival of the Mercedes-Benz EQC in 2020, or the availability of service and replacement parts at dealerships and the Smart brand will continue in Europe, China, and other parts of the world.
Smart went fully electric for the 2018 model year. The Smart EQ Fortwo remains on sale for a few more months and starts at $24,950.
With this moveand the mention of the EQC in the companys statementthe Fortwo is looking more like a placeholder that earned California ZEV credits ahead of the arrival of that more American-sized electric luxury crossover.
At a retail level, the Smart brand had slowed to the sales numbers of an exotic car. According to Automotive News, Mercedes sold just 1,276 Smart EQ Fortwo models in 2018.
car2go – Portland, OR
Car2Go had purchased its vehicles separately from the parent companyincluding some gasoline models after the brand went all-electric at the retail levelalthough it has been transitioning away from using Smart vehicles in favor of Mercedes-Benz models.
It didnt have to be that way. Here are five key decisions that could have taken Smart on a different trajectory in the U.S.
Are Smart Cars Good First Cars
smart fortwo Easily the smallest car in our list, quite possibly the best trait for a first car, the cute smart car is a doddle to drive, whilst still offering an air of premium. The Smart car is certainly unique, and with low mileage examples dropping well into prime first car price territory, whats not to like.
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Engine And Fuel Economy
The 999 cc I3Mitsubishi 3B2 engine is offered in normally aspirated and turbo versions. German tuner company Brabus, in a joint venture with Smart, has developed a high powered version of the 1.0-litre turbo, producing 102 PS , originally available only in Europe, but now available elsewhere. A small 0.8-litre three-cylinder turbo diesel common rail engine made by Mercedes was available in most European markets.
EU fuel consumption testing for the combined cycle rates the 1.0-litre mhd at 65.7 mpgimp , the turbo at 57.6 mpgimp and 85.6 mpgimp for the diesel. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates the 1.0-litre at 36 mpgUS combined .
At the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, Smart debuted the “micro hybrid drive” version of the Fortwo, which was subsequently launched in the UK in 2008. The technology features an automated start-stop system, and a belt-driven starter-generator, which replaces both the starter and alternator. The system generates electricity to charge the battery when the driver is braking, and automatically cuts the engine when the speed drops below 5 mph . Smart claims a fuel efficiency improvement of eight percent from 50 miles per US gallon to almost 55 miles per US gallon on the slow NEDC drive cyclewith a reduction in Carbon dioxide emissions from 112 to 103 g/km. This was further improved to 97 g/km in 2010. The mhd version of the Fortwo is not available in the United States or Canada.
Fancy A Made In China Smart Car
Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler and Chinese auto giant Geely announced plans Thursday to develop the next generation of electric Smart cars to be made in China in a joint venture. Under the agreement, expected to be finalised by the end of the year, the new vehicle will go on global sale in 2022, the German and Chinese car giants said in a statement.
The 12-strong board of directors of the new venture will be made up of six executives from each company. The new Smart cars will be styled by the Mercedes-Benz Design network with engineering provided by Geely.
Prior to the launch of the next generation, Daimler will continue to produce the current fortwo model of the Smart car at its plant in Hambach, northeastern France. The Smart car will then leave its historic home in France to be manufactured in China, but Daimler insists no jobs will be lost.
None of our colleagues at Smart will lose their jobs as a result of these decisions, said Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche in a statement. On the contrary. We need the passion and creativity of the Smart team more than ever. After all, these changes are no ending for Smart but a new beginning.
Geely is owned by Chinese billionaire Li Shufu, who is also Daimlers main shareholder having acquired nearly 10 percent in the German manufacturer in February 2018. Lis investment, reportedly worth around 7.2 billion, in the Stuttgart firm raised political concerns about Beijings ambitions in Germany.
Made in China.
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Smart Keeps It Simple
The Smart car brand offers limited vehicle models, two of which are named after their passenger capabilities The Fortwo, the Forfour, and the Brabus. They come in a coupe or a cabriolet body style and have different tiers such as pure, passion, prime, or proxy. Their Proxy model is the highest option level you can get, and their most expensive Twofor model is still under $30,000 making them very affordable for such a trendy car. Unfortunately, the only models available in the U.S currently are the Fortwos.
Who Manufactures The Smart Car
A subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz and parent company Daimler, Smart first arrived in the U.S. in 2008 and sold nearly 25,000 copies of the Fortwo in its first year. Sales have been on a steep decline since then, and the downward trend took a sharp turn when the gasoline models were dropped from the lineup.
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Myth #: The Smart Car Gets Better Mileage Than Any Other Car On The Road
The tiny size of the Smart Car leads many people to think that the vehicle is tops in fuel economy, but that is not actually the case. While the Smart Car does get excellent fuel economy, hybrid and all-electric models have greater efficiency ratings. If fuel economy is your only consideration, the Prius or Chevy Volt might be a better choice. If you like the convenience of a gasoline-powered vehicle, the Smart Car might be better.
Smart Car Inventor Nicolas Hayek Dies
Nicolas Hayek, the Swiss-Lebanese engineer and industrialist who brought the world the Smart car, has died at the age of 82.
Hayek saved the Swiss watch industry from lower-priced Asian competition in the early 1980s by offering colorful, inexpensive timepieces that he backed with equally colorful marketing. The founder of the watch company Swatch wanted to do the same thing with the automobile.
The first Smart cars were to have removable body films that would allow owners to change the colors of their cars as easily as his other customers changed wristwatches. Hayak also wanted Smart to have a diesel-electric drivetrain to maximize fuel efficiency.
The original specification for the Smart was to be “big enough to hold two people and a case of beer,” he told AutoWeek, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe during an interview in his Geneva office years before the Smart ForTwo went into production.
At the time he was planning a collaboration between his engineering firm SMH and Volkswagen AG. A tie up with VW fell through and Hayak struck a deal with Mercedes-Benz. Hayek eventually dropped out of that partnership, too, when Mercedes did not pursue his hybrid-drivetrain concept for Smart.
Hayek said he needed to collaborate with a large carmaker to succeed. But in those collaborations he lost control of his original vision for the car. The result was a series of compromises necessary for safety, emissions and corporate ideas about marketability.
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Myth #: The Smart Car Is The Product Of A Brand New Manufacturer
Many people think that the Smart Car is the creation of a brand new car manufacturer, but the vehicle is actually made by Mercedes-Benz, one of the oldest carmakers in the world.
The Mercedes-Benz pedigree is a big part of the Smart Car appeal, and many drivers are happy to learn that the iconic German automaker is the manufacturer of the Smart Car.
The Concept For The Smart Car Started In The Early 1970s
Mercedes-Benz engineer Johann Tomforde began to explore city car concepts and designs. He created the first concept sketch, but it wasnt until the 1990s that Mercedes assembled a team to start the design process. They studied how to make the vehicles efficient based on how people would use them in and around the city, and how they could improve their overall driving experience. They were all about innovation and driver experience from the very beginning.
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When Was Smart Liquidated
In 2005, Daimler decided against purchasing a share in a factory to produce the Smart ForFour, ultimately ending its production. They were also planning on producing a Smart SUV called the Formore, but this was abandoned at the last minute. This was also around the same time the Roadster was also discontinued.
In 2006, Smart GmbH was liquidated and its operations were absorbed by DaimlerChrylser. It currently operates under Mercedes-Benz Car division.
First Showingand First Feud
In March of the following year, both the coupe and cabriolet are presented to the public. The coupe featured an electric motor while the cabrio was equipped with a three-cylinder gas engine. One month later, the partnership between Daimler-Benz and SMH was made official. Daimler-Benz held a 51% share of the MCC , while SMH held the other 49%. But disagreement between Hayek and Mercedes soon surfaced. Whereas Hayek envisioned a small electric car in flashy colours, the German automaker clung to a gas/diesel engine and overall car safety.
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Smarts Latest Small Car Is A Crossover Suv
Also in 2019, Daimler decided to partner with the Chinese automaker Geely. In this new partnership, Daimlers Mercedes-Benz brand would design new cars for the Smart brand, while Geely would handle the engineering and production aspects. The first fruit of their labor is a 14-foot-long concept SUV, the appropriately named Concept #1. For comparison, it measures a hair shorter than the 2022 Mini Countryman,Jalopnik reports.
This is actually Smarts second try at making an SUV. Its slated to be a five-seater, though there may be a four-seater too. In any case, it should have the same comfort and space of a business sedan, Jalopnik says. In addition, it will truly be a smart car. Thats because it will boast a Level 2 semiautonomous self-driving system.
Despite the SUVs small size, the infotainment system will feature a large 12.8-inch touchscreen display. Furthermore, it will receive over-the-air updates. And because the company is still committed to electric vehicles, the SUV will also be an EV. It will use Geelys SEA EV platform, but details are scarce right now. So its also unclear how much range or how many motors the SUV will have.
Is A Smart Car Safe To Drive On The Highway
Youve seen the small Smart Cars that zip around getting great gas mileageand youve probably also heard horror stories about their safety ratings. While older models may have had some safety issues, 2018 Smart Cars are actually rated fairly safe according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration .
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Micro Compact Car Smart Gmbh Renningen Germany And Hambach France Smart Car Designed 1998
- Not on view
Size matters. As its clever marketing slogan “reduced to the max” suggests, the Smart Car has been developed to maximize the convenience, comfort, and safety of driver and passenger, while minimizing the impact on the environment. Low fuel consumption and eco-friendly methods of production distinguish this two-passenger car from the others on the market.
The Smart Car was developed in the early 1990s at the Mercedes-Benz design studio in Irvine, California, where a team of engineers and designers, led by Gerhard Steinle, created the prototype. The design and marketing strategy was further developed with input from the Swatch watch company. Cars are sold at “Smart Centers” throughout Europe, where the brightly colored vehicles are stacked in towers like objects in a display case, clearly aimed at youthful, style-conscious consumers seeking an affordable car.
Smart Car . 1998
Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 353.
Will The Smart Suv Come Out In The Us
Jalopnik reports that Smart is close to moving this SUV from concept to production. The company estimates it will begin making this SUV in 2022 and commence sales in 2023. In addition, Smart will use a direct sales model, the same way Tesla sells its cars.
However, despite Americans love for SUVs, Smart hasnt announced plans to sell its crossover in America. This could change, but theres been no indication so far.
But though the brand will probably continue to remain dead in America, its SUV could be the first of many cars in Smarts revival. This is because of Geelys SEA platform a company would rarely design a platform for only a few cars. So more Smart cars could be on the way.