Smart is recalling 43 cars, all sold in the US, due to defective paint. Doesn’t sound as intimidating or scary as exploding gas tanks, electrical fires, or most other safety recalls. But as it turns out, this is a little unnerving. The defective paint could lead to the loss of the windshield or roof while driving the little car. The paint in question was used to coat the frame and chassis, then an adhesive was placed over the paint. If the paint peels off the frame the adhesive goes with it, then say bye-bye to some rather important bits. We think the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made a good choice with this recall.
Shaquille O’Neal is a big man, but his latest purchase may fool you. For a man who had to have a motorcycle specially built for his enormous body, he seems to have no trouble fitting into his new Smart ForTwo (no word yet on if a passenger can fit, too.) Even though Shaq is over seven feet tall, the smart is over eight feet long. So he should have no problem using this as a daily driver, no?
Starting Ocotber the Smart Fortwo will receive a new technology: the micro hybrid drive (mhd) technology with a user-friendly automatic start-stop system that will reduce NEDC consumption of the two naturally aspirated engines by an average of 8%.
The smart micro hybrid drive (mhd) automatic start-stop function has proven itself since 2007, although to date it has only been available for the 71 bhp model. To reduce the fuel costs for the smart fortwo, the two petrol models with 61 bhp and 71 bhp engines are now being fitted with the start-stop automatic function as standard. This reduces the consumption of both versions in the combined cycle by around eight percent (to 4.3 litres, NEDC). CO2 emissions are reduced to 103 grams per kilometre. In urban traffic with frequent stop-and-go situations savings of almost 20 percent are even possible.
The first Smart ForTwo was revealed in 1998 in France. Until now, the compact two-seater has become the vehicle of choice of more than 900,000 customers in 37 countries.
The trendy two-seater has not only become successfully established on the market during this time; over 150,000 customers have purchased a second-generation smart fortwo since the model was introduced in March 2007. All in all, far more than 900,000 smart fortwos have been delivered to customers since the two-seater was launched in 1998.
In the future we will also see a smart fortwo electric starting 2010: “We are currently developing a smart fortwo with electric drive and lithium-ion batteries, and we plan to introduce an electric drive version of the current smart generation in 2010,” said Zetsche.“
Gallery Smart Fortwo
Smart is helping the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) cut carbon emissions in London as they take part in the market trial of the fully electric, smart ed (electric drive).
Four versions of the iconic, low emission, two-seater car will be used in congested urban areas for routine police operations. Two of the cars have Metropolitan Police livery and will be deployed in Central London and at Heathrow Airport.
The smart ed is powered solely by electricity and is charged using a standard three-pin plug. The car emits no carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons or particulate matter. It is incredibly economical and can achieve the equivalent of around 300 miles per gallon.
Stuart Middleton, Director of Transport Services, Metropolitan Police Service, said: “The public might be surprised to see smart ‘police’ cars on the streets of London but we’re very excited about taking part in this market trial.
Although the Smart ForTwo is not the kind of car you would customize, Konigseder, the Austrian tuner specialized in tuning Mercedes vehicles unveiled its tuning kit for the little car.
Featuring a wide-body kit which consists in a re-designed front bumper, new side skirts and a new rear bumper the tuning house succeeded in adding a new angry look to the vehicle.
The Smart ForTwo received also new 17 inch alloy wheels painted in white. In order to provide better stability and a sporty look, Konigseder added a new set of Eibach sport springs.
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."
Gallery Smart Fortwo
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.
And the big of all is the special paint from Seat which constantly adapts to mimic the car’s surroundings.
Gallery 2008 Kia KEE_wii Concept
Gallery Smart Fortwo by Renntech
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.