Smart cars

Mercedes -owned Smart and German tuning company Brabus make so many tuning projects its becoming hard to keep track of how many they’ve released together.

At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show , the two are at it again with another iteration of the ForTwo Electric Drive . This time, the glossy black city car will come with a partner in the form of the Smart Brabus bike.

As for the ForTwo ED, Brabus dressed up the little urban dweller with the aforementioned glossy black finish that they matched with a green tridion safety cell and door mirror caps, exuding a sexy cool vibe that ForTwos aren’t usually known for. Adding to the appeal of this program are other additions, including a new front spoiler, a new rear apron insert with double reflectors, dark headlamp housings, and a new set of Brabus’ very own 16" and 17" Monoblock VII alloy wheels. Inside, there are plenty of other assortments, including trim upgrades on the instrument panel matched to a leather interior door trim. Speaking of leather, the program also consists of leather seats, further adding an edge to the ForTwo’s otherwise conservative look. Brabus also added stainless steel sports pedals with rubber nubs and fitted their own hand-brake handle and dashboard instruments.

Under its hood, the Smart Brabus Electric Drive comes with a subtle increase in output, not too shabby for a car that doesn’t really speak the language of speed. With a 30 kW magneto-electric motor, Brabus was able to bump up the output from the standard 75 horsepower to 82 horsepower while also improving the torque levels to 100 lb/ft. It isn’t much, but at least it’s something.

The 2012 Geneva Motor Show was a pretty busy show for Brabus, with them not only focusing on updates for high performance sports cars, but also for tiny models like the Smart Fortwo Cabrio. Their latest package is called the Brabus Ultimate 120 - and as its name suggests - it will increase the Fortwo’s output to a total of 120 HP.

The car will be painted in an intense metallic red and will feature a pretty cool aerodynamic kit that includes new front spoiler, side sills, and Brabus Widestar fender flares in the front and back. It will sit on a new set of 18" "Platinum Edition" forged wheels combined with a height-adjustable Brabus coilover suspension kit.

The interior was covered in Mastik leather with red contrasting seams that match the outer skin. Brabus also added a new set of Recaro Sportster seats wrapped in the finest Brabus leather and their seat shells are painted in the same color as the car’s exterior.

Under the hood, the three-cylinder turbocharged engine has been tricked to deliver a total of 120 HP at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 118 lb-ft available between 2,250 and 3,750 rpm, unparalleled in this vehicle class. As a result, the new Ultimate 120 will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 8.9 seconds and will be capable of a top speed of 106 mph.

You may think there are plenty of special editions for the Smart ForTwo already, but it seems Mercedes does not agree as they have unveiled a new one for their lineup. Called the Smart Fortwo Sharpred, the new edition will be offered in both coupe and cabrio. Prices will start from €14,490 ($19,200 at the current exchange rates) and sales will begin in May. Only 1,800 units will be produced.

The new Smart Fortwo Sharpred will be distinguished by a striking contrast of elegant black and extravagant red used on the tridion safety cell and door mirrors. The front apron and rear trim panel are grained and the side skirts boast a high-gloss black finish. The model will be offered with a special set of 15" 3-double-spoke alloy wheels also painted in black.

The interior also combines black an the seats with red double stitching on the seats and the instrument panel. The standard equipment includes the audio system basic and exclusive floor mats.

Smart has announced the first details on the facelift version for their ForTwo line-up that will go on sale at the beginning of April 2012. The model will be offered in Pure, Pulse, Passion, Brabus, and Brabus Xclusive versions with pricing starting at €10,275 (about $13,500 at the current exchange rates).

With the new model, Smart has focused on offering a more dynamic appearance for the car, thanks to a larger radiator grille with integrated logo, striking front aprons in a new design, horizontally arranged LED daytime driving lights, muscular side skirts, and modified rear aprons. The chrome-colored logo is now positioned directly in the black radiator grille, while the air inlets under the number plate have been combined into a single unit. Smart is also offering a choice of three new alloy wheels, three soft top colors for the smart cabrio and new exterior colors.

The interior has received a new, high-quality package in crystal grey, comprising a fresh leather/fabric combination for the seats, an imitation leather/fabric mix for the door trims and black imitation leather for the instrument panel in combination with a grey knee pad.

The engine line-up remained unchanged: a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine for the petrol models, a 102 HP for Brabus version and one 0.8-liter cdi turbodiesel.

With the calendar turning over a new page to 2012, the very first major auto show is set to open its doors in Detroit when the North American International Auto Show welcomes automakers - both local and foreign - to the Motor City.

This year, American brands are coming to Detroit in full force where they will be joined by a number of international automakers in presenting a steady diet of concept cars, production debuts, and just about everything else in between.

Among the notable debuts set to take place include the brand-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL , as well as the 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8 . German automaker Porsche has also penciled in the 911 Cabriolet for the festivities, while Lexus will be on-hand to display the intriguing and mysterious LF-LC 2+2 sports coupe concept.

As for the local contingent, Ford is leading the way with the premiere of the Fusion global mid-size sedan while Dodge is set to introduce their Alfa Romeo Giulietta-based compact sedan, the Dart .

There’s plenty of action headed to Detroit when the 2012 NAIAS opens its doors on January 14th. Head over after the jump to check out a preview of all the cars scheduled to be part of all the festivities.

The next big auto show will take place at the turn of the calendar, but as early as now, we’re getting a good look at some of the concepts that are scheduled to be in attendance at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in January.

German automaker, Smart , has never been shy when introducing zany concepts in the past and it’s looking like they’re going to unveil a new one in Detroit.

The car is called the "For-Us" Urban Pick-Up Concept that Smart is describing as a concept targeted to the "young and young-at-heart with active lives who attach importance to low emissions and taking up minimum road space."

The description is pretty much apt to all their previous concepts so there’s nothing unique there. What’s different, though, is that the For-Us Urban Pick-Up Concept comes with an electrically-powered tailboard that opens and retracts with a 900mm cargo area that’s big enough to hold and serve as a charging port for as much as two Smart E-Bikes.

This review has been updated with official details and photos that you can find after the jump

The 2011 LA Design Challenge produced some pretty interesting and futuristic Hollywood rides. But after the dust had settled, we had a repeat winner taking home the 2011 title.

The Smart 341 Parkour, which was designed by folks from the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios in Sindelfingen, Germany, won the LA Design Challenge, on the back of a clever Hollywood story involving Annie Angle and her super sleuthing skills in Carntpark City.

This is the second year in a row that Smart has won the LA Design Challenge. Last year , the Smart 454 WWT shared top honors with the Cadillac Aera after judges declared a tie on a four-passenger car being built under the premise that it tips the scales at just under 1,000 lbs.

This year’s theme involved not just developing a perfect Hollywood car of the future, but also about inventing a story that puts the car in the forefront. With the 341 Parkour, Smart conveyed the theme to a tee by designing a car that combines innovation and functionality with an exciting film plot.

Just in case you’ve forgotten the capabilities of the 341 Parkour, the designers envisioned this revolutionary ride using parkour as an inspiration. So instead of people jumping in and around whatever obstacles in a given location, the 341 Parkour does all of that itself.

Congratulations to the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios for their back-to-back LA Design Challenge titles. Now the pressure’s on to hit a "three-peat" in 2012.

Source: Daimler

As a futuristic cross between Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars, Annie Angle is a reporter from Cantpark City with a very inquisitive mind. After an article in a newspaper catches her attention - “Smart Granny Robots missing!!!” - Angle immediately is thrust into action, determined to solve the mystery of the missing Grannies to not only restore some order to an otherwise friendly and beautiful city, but also launch her career as an up-and-coming investigative journalist.

Aiding in her quest for answers is her trusty steed, the Smart 341 Parkour, a futuristic concept vehicle that plays a key role in this private investigation. With a design that every sleuthing-obsessed individual will love, the 341 Parkour offers a number of features that are unprecedented in today’s world.

It has a large greenhouse that provides 360 degrees of visibility while traveling through the inner city. It also has a set of wheels that are not only retractable, but also contain impulse pads and vacuum cups. Moreover, the concept is wrapped with a hexagon skin and carries a number of driving modes that can turn the 341 Parkour from a steady road-running car into a hover craft, as well as a mechanical wall-climber that can scale the sides of even the highest of skyscrapers.

The car may not look the part of an all-utility ride, but that definition for a vehicle could be changed in the future. In the world of Annie Angle and Cantpark City, the Smart 341 Parkour is about as do-it-everything as it can get.

After four years out on the streets, the Smart ForTwo deserves a new generation model. To their credit, Daimler is preparing to accommodate with the debut of their new ForVision Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The new concept vehicle is intended to show two things: the new design direction that Smart is undertaking and new technologies that the company is readying for their future models. The latter was made possible by Smart’s collaboration with BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, in the development of several advanced technologies that will be used on the concept and any other future models that could follow suit.

For this particular model - the second Smart concept to come out this year after the ForSpeed - the whole idea was to build a platform for future vehicles. Among the new materials that were built into the car with the idea of future production use include revolutionary plastic wheels and carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy resin for the doors and the passenger compartment. The latter allows the car to reduce up to 50% of its weight compared to steel and 30% when compared to aluminum. The ForVision Vision Concept also carries a solar roof that provides an alternative source of energy for the concept’s electric drivetrain.

Since the ForVision Concept is still, well, a concept, expect the production version to be a little more attuned to the times. That’s not to say that it won’t carry all of the features of the concept version; it’s just that as far as concept-based production vehicles are concerned, it’s probably to temper expectations on the car.

Brabus, along with street fashion brand, WeSC, is headed to the Frankfurt Motor Show with another product of the Automotive/Fashion world. Their little collaboration yielded a tailor made Smart ForTwo Cabrio and a special set of headphones specially designed for the Smart by WeSC.

This special Smart will be sparkling in gold shades throughout the exterior - part matte, part high-gloss - with all of the colors created for the Swedish label by automotive tuning firm, Brabus Brabus . The gold paint has been combined with black wheels and black leather seats with crossways quilting that bears the unmistakeable signature of the street style experts.

This special Smart by WeSC will be offered with air conditioning, a leather BRABUS sports steering wheel with steering wheel gearshift, the turbocharged 100 HP engine, and plenty of other features. Aside from the automotive additions, the most impressive feature for the new Smart is the 32-ohm headphones from WeSC, giving a nod to the car’s look, as can be seen in the perforated black ear pads and high-gloss golden highlights.

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