Smart has unveiled at the Paris Auto Show a special car2go edition, featuring brand new telematics hardware, a new control unit with touchscreen, and a solar roof developed especially for the smart.
The solar roof delivers a total power of 100 Watt that is used to supply power to the telematics, and also to continually charge the car’s battery. This allows the alternator to be decoupled whilst driving and fuel consumption to be reduced by up to 10%.
"The car2go edition is fitted with a completely new hardware generation that makes the fully-automated rental process even more convenient and secure. The telematics, which are the most efficient car sharing telematics in the world, have been optimized for the requirements of car2go, and were developed in cooperation with the Ulm-based Daimler TSS GmbH among other companies. The new-generation technology is completely integrated into the vehicle both visually and technically, At its heart is a new control unit with a large touch-sensitive screen. The car key, which was previously kept in the glove compartment, is now securely stowed here. There are also convenient slots for up to four chip cards (e.g. for refuelling or for entry to car parks)."
Press release after the jump. Full story
The Paris Motor Show is only a few days away and we’re already beginning to see a lot of special edition vehicles that are going to be introduced at the auto event.
Not to be outdone by its competitors, Smart is bringing their very own special edition ForTwo, one that, apparently, is hemmed in reusable cardboard. Say what?!
No, this isn’t some half-baked joke that we just thought of this morning; it’s actually the real deal. The cardboard ForTwo is the brainchild of artist Sarah Illenberger, Smart, and CD Cartondruck AG, all of whom brainstormed about the idea of putting reusable cardboard on the car’s exterior and interior. We’re not entirely sure how this works given that cardboard, no matter how “high-quality” it seems to be, don’t exactly inspire confidence when you’re out on the road. Nonetheless, we give these guys some credit for their creativity, imagination, and, well, that’s pretty much it.
If you’re having a difficult time wrapping your head around the justification of the car, then you’re not alone. At the very least, we’ll probably get some explanation from these guys at the Paris Motor Show where the car is expected to be on display in all its cardboard glory.
Press Release after the jump. Full story
Smart will unveil the new purely electrically driven escooter at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. This vehicle is a further solution for intelligent urban mobility. The Escooter will be painted in white with green accents like its four-wheeled big brother, and is introducing a fresh and surprising element into urban traffic.
The Escooter is driven by a disc-shaped wheel hub motor in the rear wheel, which offers a powerful 4 kW and transmits its power directly to the rear wheel. The smart escooter has a top speed of 45 km/h and offers an autonomy of up to 100 kilometers. The escooter can be charged at any standard household power socket, within three to five hours.
“With the escooter, we consistently continue our “vision smart”: even more driving fun in the city, even more adaptability to the respective living environment, even more flexibility - not least because it offers the possibility to be integrated in our car2go concept”, says Annette Winkler.
Press release after the jump. Full story
Ranking the best cars is fun, but ranking the worst is like frolicking on a perfect beach, it just never gets old. Taking into consideration that the year is almost complete, we wanted to rank the worst vehicles of the decade and seeing as how there were so many, ten just wasn’t enough.
Some weren’t very hard to think of, stuff like the Chevrolet Aveo and the Smart ForTwo were obviously going to be on the list, but there were a few that will shock you. If one sentence can sum up our thought process during this evaluation it would be this, ’high sales don’t mean anything’.
Look at the Chevrolet Impala and the Jeep Wrangler. Both sell fairly well, but both are awful. The Impala is fat and drives like a boat and the Wrangler is an off-road machine that most won’t take in their yard, leaving it hard and uncompromising on the road. Despite these two perfect examples of automotive incompetence, both didn’t make the list.
Find out what did by hitting the jump. Full story
Smart has reached 10 years of sales in the UK, and to commemorate this important milestone, the Daimler-owned brand is releasing an exclusive edition of its ForTwo model.
Dubbed as the “gb-10” edition, this model will only have 100 units produced in a number of different variants, including gasoline engine coupes (50 units), gasoline cabriolets (10 units), diesel coupes (30 units), and diesel cabriolets (10 units).
Each model, regardless of fuel and style versions, will come with a silver metallic paint finish with a red design prominently featured on the vehicle’s tridion safety cell. In addition to that, all 100 cars will also come with LED daytime running lights, a third brake light courtesy of Brabus, and 15-inch alloy wheels.
As far as the interior of this special-edition ForTwo is concerned, each of the 100 units will come with Rosso red heated leather seats that have the name “gb-10” embroidered on the headrests. The red leather seats are then complemented by a black alcantara-finished dashboard with the instrument surrounds accented a silver finish.
Despite being classified as a special edition, the “gb-10” edition Smart ForTwo comes at a base price of just £10,695 (around $16,671).
The public seems to do many things that they regret, and buying a Smart car appears to be one of them. At just 61 inches high and 106 inches long, the Smart would seem to be the perfect city car, but many have lost interest.
The little automaker’s sales aren’t doing so hot at the moment. Many people who thought the Smart was a neat idea and a great city car have realized that it actually wouldn’t work for them.
In 2009, the company sold 14,600 vehicles, down from 24,000 in 2008. So far this year, sales are really bad, as they are off another 60 percent.
In an attempt to turn things around, Smart is trying to rejuvenate the brand. The company has hired Jill Lajdziak, the former general manager of Saturn, to boost marketing.
Marketing might not be the only issue, as owners of the car wouldn’t want one again. According to CNW Marketing Research, 8.1 percent of Smart owners in New York wouldn’t buy another Smart. In San Francisco, only 19.8 percent of owners would buy the car again.
The Smart car does have some serious issues, like the terrible automatic transmission. The gearbox is rough, but it does deliver decent mileage.
So, Smart is going to have a lot of work on its hands in order to revive the brand’s image. Look for more advertisements and product placement for the company.
Lets face it, one of the most fun to drive models in Smart’s line-up was the Roadster. It was a fun-looking, two-seats sport car that was suitable for a crowded city. And now the model is preparing for a comeback.
According to Autocar, this is just one of the models "being discussed, as Mercedes plans to expand its city car brand by offering more models and greater economies of scale after gaining access to Renault’s small car platforms."
"A new Roadster is one being discussed. The Renault merger could lead to several Smart spin-offs; Renault has small car expertise that we can benefit from."
The Smart Roadster was offered in two versions, roadster and coupe, with the coupe version getting the most powerful engine: an 81 HP 3-cylinder.
However, before we see the new Roadster on the streets, Smart will bring forth the new generation Fortwo and then a new Forfour in 2014. Smart will also be unveiling a new electric scooter concept at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.
Smart has already revealed details on the new generation Fortwo mini car. However until it goes on sale this fall, German customers will get another special edition based on the current generation to satisfy their Smart thirst. It is called the "Limited Silver" and will be priced at 12,990 euro.
The "Limited Silver" Fortwo will be offered in either a stylish silver or a gray metallic exterior paint. It will get a smart radio 9 with MP3-compatible CD player, a lockable glove box, and the smart drive kit for the iPhone as standard.
This Smart special edition will be distinguished by new 15" Brabus light metal wheels "Monoblock VII", Brabus LED daytime running lights, a Brabus LED brake light, and the "limited silver" logo in the mirror triangles. It will be available with the environmentally friendly micro hybrid drive (MHD) unit that develop 71 HP and gets the new start-stop system that helps reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions significantly.
The idea of the electric car is nothing new. It has actually been around for quite some time. In fact, according to a few new rumors and The Telegraph, the first electric car idea came from way back in 1884 with a vehicle created by British inventor Thomas Parker. The electric car, in theory, is one of the greatest ideas to ever hit the automotive world. No emissions, no instant torque, and no obnoxiously loud noise, plus there is little chance that a fire could occur in the event of a wreck. So what went wrong?
Well, as great as the idea was there are a few problems that hamper the car’s progress. The batteries have to be special and rather heavy; no double A is powerful enough for a moving vehicle. Modern cars weigh a lot and they need to be able to travel at high rate of speeds on the motorway, so the batteries need to be strong and luckily, there are a few companies working to make these machines possible.
Japanese automaker Nissan will soon release the Leaf, a pure electric vehicle that will surely change the way we think about modern cars, especially for city use. The Leaf isn’t the only electric car in the world. There are few others you might see roaming around the world’s many streets in a few years. These include the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Mini E, and the Smart ED. These are all real cars that you won’t be able to buy if you live in America, at least not yet. They have passed crash tests and offer the same sort of features that you will need in order to go on a road trip.
Hit the jump to read on. Full story
Smart has just unveiled details on the new generation Fortwo that will go on sale in the autumn of 2010 with a fresh interior look, an upgraded exterior, and new improved engines.
For 2011, the new Smart Fortwo will be available with a 53 HP cdi turbodiesel, a 60 HP mhd, a 69 HP mhd, and a more powerful 83 HP version. The Brabus version gets a 100 Hp engine.
On the exterior the new generation Fortwo gets optional LED daytime driving lights, new 15 inch alloy wheels, and a range of new exterior colors, including matte light green and light blue metallic. The interior has also been redesigned and gets a full fabric-covered instrument panel featuring new styling and new fabric designs, an optional fabric-covered folding center armrest, a 3-spoke leather steering wheel with cruise control function, and a trip computer.
The first units will be sold as limited Smart Fortwo edition lightshine. They will be distinguished by a new fabric-covered instrument panel with a new dial, new upholstery colors in design beige or design black, the fuel filler cap finished in the body color, and net pockets on the side bolsters between the seats.
Press release after the jump. Full story