Read on to find out more about the revolutionary smart brand. As well as offering exceptional green credentials smart cars are superb versatile cars which are ideal for parking in a tight spot. These tiny cars also have a good reputation for safety. Follow links to user reviews of individual smart models as well as further guides to new and out of production smart cars.
The main idea behind the short sized smart car was to make it easy to park in Europes congested city street. Amazingly, it is short enough for it to be parked nose-in; and even long ways in it only takes up about a third of a normal sized car. Smart, formerly MCC smart and originally supported by Swiss watch manufacturer Swatch, is now part of DaimlerChrysler. The name smart is an acronym for Swatch Mercedes ART. It was merged with Mercedes-Benz in 2006. Apart from the original smart Fortwo, a sporty smart Roadster and a supermini smart Forfour were also offered. These other cars have now been discontinued. There were also plans to introduce a small off-roader called the Formore but development of this was cancelled. The original Smart car has found fame in a number of films including The Da Vinci Code where the main characters used a Smart Car throughout.
The smart Car has a unique appearance - a block on wheels with the front trimmed. However, despite the unusual look the car is good to drive, in fact, lots of fun and has a good reputation for safety and handling. The Tridion frame as well as safety also provides a distinct element of style to the Smart Car. Most of the frame shows through to the outside of the car. The rest of the Smart body is replaceable, recyclable colour body panels which can be customized. The smart car is surprisingly quick around town. The three-cylinder engine provides enough power because the car is very light. As of 2007 the UK is the fourth largest market after Germany, Italy and France for fortwo and the UK has the largest smart Owners Club in the world. The Smart Fortwo electric vehicle is being planned which will have 30-kilowatts of power; manage 0 to 30 mph in 6.5 seconds, and a max speed of 70 mph. It has an operating range of 70 miles when fully charged.
The final car design was more expensive than Hayeks plans though. The engine technology was more costly and the joint venture experienced heavy losses resulting in Swatch pulling out. Other problems with production costs have led to massive losses, despite the popularity of the cars and the general acclaim they have received. In 2006 smart GmbH was liquidated and DaimlerChrysler announced it was cancelling the short lived Forfour and Roadster and would redesign the Fortwo for 2007, the original and most popular smart car.
As of 2007 the smart fortwo is now manufactured by the Mercedes Car Group.
With 140,000 models sold to date, the smart fortwo cdi is the most successful "three litre" car worldwide.
The newer smart fortwo released in Europe in April 2007 and for the US in 2008.
40-plus mpg under normal driving conditions.
8.8 feet long, 5.1 feet tall and 5.1 feet wide
Standard functional and safety features such as electronic stability program, anti-lock brakes and four air bags.
The smart fortwo has achieved the ko-Trend institute for environmental research certificate, the first car to do so. This certifies a high level of environmental friendliness for the smart fortwo. The petrol version with 45 kW (61 bhp) has received the award for low fuel consumption and the cars environmental compatibility including noise and pollutant emissions and ecological criteria such as details of the manufacturers production, procurement, logistics, recycling and environmental management. The low-consumption diesel version is just as environmentally friendly. The smart fortwo cdi consumes 3.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres under standard conditions. The smart fortwo diesel is the world champion in low CO2 emissions, releasing only 88 grams of CO2 per kilometre driven. Since 2007 the diesel version has diesel particle filter open system and this can be retrofitted on older models. Smart celebrated its green record when it was the official Global Partner of Live Earth.