Smart

Smart cars

Posted on by Bryan 16

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.

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).

Posted on by Bryan 10

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.

Source: MSNBC, CNW

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.

Source: Autocar

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.

ThisSmart 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.

Posted on by Bryan 11

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.

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.

What makes a a tiny car like the Smart Fortwo priceless? No, not the fact that it has a very low fuel consumption. It has nothing to do with that, but lots to do with the newest accessory glittering all over the little vehicle: Swarovski Crystals. Yes, they could have chosen a bigger car to cover in ice, but there’s a financial crisis in the world for goodness sakes. Any additional square footage would just be crazy!

The Smart Fortwo was created for the Chinese market. It gets no less than 283,960 eye-blinding Swarovskis on the exterior, plus a few on the interior, but who’s counting? In the interior, you will find these little stones applied on the leather, drink holders, shift knob, mirrors, seat buckles, and pedals.

The car was created by Anjuny Eyes China who has yet to unveil the asking price for the blinged out ride. Regardless of the price, however, there would be no amount of haggling that will bring it down enough for us to be able to afford it. And, come on, our money would be better off spent on a more reasonably sized car!

Carlsson unveiled the C25 tuning kit for the Mercedes SL600 at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. Now that the first rollout of the Carlsson C25 took place on the Formula 1-track in Hockenheim, Carlsson has also prepared a C25 package for the Smart Fortwo.

The C25 Smart edition offers exclusive upholstery (same colors as the C25 bound with gray and orange), aluminum pedals, wheels and tires specific, a new line exhaust, and some elements of the traditional C25 body kit.

It is powered by a 84hp turbo engine or a choice of two naturally aspirated engine versions, delivering 61/71 bhp, respectively. The turbo engine is paired with a stainless-steel rear silencer with four polished exit pipes and the two naturally aspirated versions offer the silencer with an end-pipe only system.

Like with the C25 supercar, the Smart Edition will also be limited to 25 units. It will carry a price tag of 50,000 euro.

We hadn’t even had a chance to recover from the sad news of Spen King’s - aka the “Father of the Range Rover” - death when we found out that Nicholas Hayek, the man responsible for giving the auto world the Smart Car , has also passed away due to heart failure. He was 82 years old.

While most of us autophiles know him for his Smart Car, the rest of the world knows Hayek as the savvy businessman who built an affordable line of watches that has since come to be universally known as Swatch.

With an eye towards building products that the everyday man can afford, Hayek took the successful template he was using with Swatch to build a car that fits into the Swatch action plan: affordable, customizable, and most of all, customer-friendly.

With the help of Mercedes-Benz , who took the reigns from Volkswagen as a partner in the Smart Car program, Hayek was able to launch his pride and joy, and while the car hasn’t exactly been as successful – in terms of sales - as a lot of people initially thought, nobody can say that the Smart Car hasn’t made an impact on the world. This tremendous impact is evidenced by the immense popularity it now enjoys in the pop culture lexicon. And all of that came from a man who was only a relative neophyte in the industry and whose time there was unceremoniously cut short.

We can sit and debate the merits and demerits of the Smart Car, but one thing’s for sure, Nicholas Hayek, in his short time as an automaker, has made a lasting impact on the industry in more ways than one.

Rest in Peace, sir.


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