The Smart car is getting a lot of attention for its small size and style, and now it’s earning impressive crash test ratings. In recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the 2008 Smart Fortwo, the smallest car for sale in the US market, earned the top rating of good for front and side crash protection. Its seat/head restraints earned the second highest rating of acceptable for protection against whiplash in rear impacts.
Smart Fortwo is classified a microcar, meaning it’s smaller even than minicars. Weighing about 1,800 pounds, the Smart is more than 3 feet shorter and almost 700 pounds lighter than a Mini Cooper. It weighs about a third as much as one of the heaviest vehicles the Institute has tested, the BMW X5, a midsize SUV. As the price of fuel climbs and tougher federal fuel economy requirements kick in, auto companies are expected to introduce more small vehicles to the market. The Smart is the smallest car the Institute ever has tested.
"The big question from consumers is, ’How safe is it?’", says Institute president Adrian Lund. "All things being equal in safety, bigger and heavier is always better. But among the smallest cars, the engineers of the Smart did their homework and designed a high level of safety into a very small package."
April 1st was a very interesting day regarding automotive news. We can’t tell you for sure if the things are for real or not, but we will let you be the judge of that! It all started with the Kia KEE_wii, a concept that incorporates a new, dynamic and more involving drive system, called Dynamic On-Road Kinetics.
And then it was the Smart Two tuning kit by RENNTECH. It is powered by two (2) 1000cc, 3 cyl. Smart engines, each mated to its own 5-speed, automated transmission. The end result is a twin-engined, 182 hp AWD street machine that zips from zero to sixty in an astonishing (and terrifying!) 5.1 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 138 mph.
RENNTECH’s 722 tuning package for the Mercedes SLR McLaren supercar has been generating a lot of attention recently, as has RENNTECH’s appointment as the American agent for the Mercedes-Benz McLaren 722GT club racer and SLR.Club Trophy USA series.
Building on these runaway successes, RENNTECH has released details of an exciting new project called the 7.22. Based on the new Smart ForTwo, the 7.22 is powered by two (2) 1000cc, 3 cyl. Smart engines, each mated to its own 5-speed, automated transmission.
"One engine drives the front wheels, the other drives the rears," explains Hartmut Feyhl, RENNTECH’s president and ex-technical director of AMG North America. "One of my employees, Jo Borras, previously worked with Mosler to build their dual-engined Cadillac TwinStar, and made the magazine rounds a few years later with his own twin-engined Hyundai Tiburon. It seemed like a good idea to try on the Smart, so we went with it."
The RENNTECH Smart 7.22 is available today for $39,990.
Al of you know that Smart ForTwo is a successful car, but only in Europe. Looks like things changed and seems that the little car is enjoying the same success also on the North American market. According to Roger Penske, CEO of Penske Automotive Group, the dealers in America are quite desperate for more of the cars.
Penske told to the press that the car is not bought for it’ s low price but because people are interested in its urban friendliness and its fuel economy. An average Smart ForTwo comes equipped with $1,600 in options, this representing 15% of the car’s base price while the fully loaded versions account for 10 percent of the cars sold, rather than the 4 percent the company predicted, added Penske.
According to Penske’s CEO the dealers from Pittsburgh are dying for the cars. The car is begining to be popular also on special markets like the ones from Los Angeles and New York. As you probably know, Smart is considering taking out the hybrid variant of the ForTwo in two years and according to David Schembri, president of Smart USA, the car will see even a bigger success than the petrol powered version.
Smart unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show the edition limited two. It will be produced as a limited series of 2000 vehicles and is characterised by exclusive coloring and a high quality mix of materials - on both the outside and the inside.
The new edition is available as a coupe and a cabriolet and is based on the "passion" equipment variant. Among other things it comes with the automatic softouch gear mode, electric windows, air conditioning with automatic temperature control, a dust and pollen filter and a panoramic roof with sunblind on the coupe. In addition, the standard equipment of the "edition limited two" includes dashboard instruments and the radio 9. Electric power steering, a lockable glove compartment, the smart sound system with five high-quality loudspeakers and the smart MP3 interface are available on request as optional equipment.
The two-seater is powered by a 52 kW/71 bhp petrol engine in combination with automated 5-speed transmission and an automatic gear programme which also allows manual gear shifting if desired.
Brabus will unveil at the Geneva Motor Show the SLR McLaren roadster, a tuning kit inspired by the yacht design. The supercar is priced at 699,000 Euros, and when buying it you will get an extra BRABUS ULTIMATE 112, a tuning kit based on the Smart Fortwo.
The tuning kit for the 5.5-liter supercharged engine consists of special camshafts and a fuel-cooling system. Power output increases by 24 hp / 18 kW to 650 hp (641 hp SAE net) / 478 kW at 6,500 rpm. BRABUS also offers a special clutch-type limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40 percent for the SLR. It optimizes traction and thus acceleration performance further: The tuned SLR Roadster rockets from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 337 km/h (211 mph).
The ULTIMATE 112 produces a maximum power output of 112 hp (110 hp SAE net) / 82.4 kW at 5,600 rpm. Even more important for everyday driving is the peak torque of 150 Nm, available on a plateau from 3,330 to 3,900 rpm, an exceptional figure for a car in its class.
Which cars will be turning heads on the street this year? According to Playboy’s "2008 Cars of the Year," a high-performance hybrid surges past competitors, a European import squeezes to the top, and a luxury carmaker provides one of the most fuel efficient and affordable vehicles on the road.
The shortest, most compact automobile currently in production will soon be launched in the world’s largest automobile market, when the "smart fortwo" debuts in the United States in January, 2008. Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG will introduce this latest vehicle to the US market at a press briefing in Washington, DC on December 4th.
Lorinser unveiled their customization kit for the second-generation smart fortwo, a kit that combines further-tuned versions of Smart’s three-cylinder turbo engines, new dynamic styling modifications and a lightweight body for optimum city car performance.