Posts Tagged ‘smart’
A few years back, when we all were faced with those astronomical figures at the pump, a new type of car showed up; the little Smart ForTwo, a car that symbolized what could be accomplished if a driver were willing to sacrifice everything for a low-cost, high-efficiency vehicle. With fuel prices sitting at above $4.00 per gallon, the sales of these little European imports exploded for a short time. But it wasn’t long before gas prices made their way back down, and Smart sales went catatonic just as quickly as they took off.
Now Smart has jumped into the race to be one of the first to bring a completely practical electric vehicle to market with the 2011 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive.
Outside, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive is differentiated from its internal combustion cousins by little more than a few splashes of green paint and a load of decals and emblems. The first handful of the vehicles will only be available in this color combination to help Smart build awareness of its EV program.
Likewise, little has changed inside the car’s cabin with the exception of a few new gauges. Two pods now keep tabs on the charge of the ED’s battery pack and how much the battery is either discharging or recharging in kilowatts. The ForTwo Electric Drive carries an onboard recharging system capable of restoring up to 10 kilowatts at a time as you use the car’s regenerative brakes. Otherwise, the interior is the same wild metallic green paint that makes its way indoors for the instrument cluster, and a new iPod integration kit is also available.
But the big news is what puts power to the wheels. Smart has sacrificed the standard 1.0-liter three-cylinder gas engine and automated manual transmission in favor of all-electric, including a 20-kilowatt electric motor that’s capable of “boosting” up to 30 kilowatts and is attached to a fixed gear. That works out to around 40 horsepower in boost mode, or 57 percent of what the standard gasoline powerplant produces. That figure is 20 lb-ft more than what the standard ForTwo delivers.
If you’re one of the trendy hipsters driving a Smart Fortwo, here’s another way of pimping up your ride: Daimler has announced a Q2 2010 launch for its Smart Drive kit for the iPhone. As pictured above, the kit consists of a cradle for hands-free communication plus charging, and an app that “combines all the features needed on the road” by the means of “extra-large buttons and extra-large letters.” You’ll get access to your usual music library (plus Internet radio), contacts, phone functions and map by Daimler (points-of-interest data from Microsoft Bing).
There’s also the handy “Assist” feature that can automatically mark your parking location when not docked, and can provide GPS coordinates to the Smart hotline for roadside assistance. What’s more, Daimler’s currently working on a camera for this kit that can identify speed limit signs, and can then warn you if you’re speeding.
My neighbor hit a deer with her smart…
Do you know any older women that are tough as nails, smart as a whip and have the ability to give you a certain look that can kinda scare you? We’ve all met a few, maybe your 7th grade math teacher, the lady that volunteers at your church or perhaps I just described your grandmother. I know a lady like that. I live in a small town, we have two restaurants and I frequently see her at one. They don’t deliver mail where I live so sometimes I run into her at the post office. I crew on a sailboat that races against other sailboats and she happens to own one of those sailboats. We see each other quite often, and to me, she was always a little bit scary.
Imagine my surprise when one day she walked into our showroom! Long story short, I sold her a car. She remained a little scary through the entire process – professional, firm, reasonable but a little bit scary none the less. After that day I saw her little white Passion coupe running around town often and said a little prayer every time that I hope she is happy and never has a problem with her car because she knows where I live, eat, sail, get my mail, etc. And, she’s a little bit scary.
Moths go by, no problems, and I stop worrying about it. Then, one day she walks into the showroom with her hands on her hips and says “ANGELA!” Ut-O. Here it comes… “My smart hit a deer early this morning going 55 miles per hour and your little car is AMAZING!! I can’t believe how little damage there is!! You’ve got to come outside and see!!”
Wow. It really was amazing. The black plastic vented area just below the bottom of the windshield had a crack in it and the front tag bracket was knocked loose on one side. That’s it. Everybody that works in my dealership went outside to look and none of us could believe it. We offered to wash it for her, after all, there was blood smears and hair on the front service flap but she refused, she was enjoying showing and telling everyone that crossed her path what her little car had gone through that very morning.
I’ve gotten to know her pretty well since she bought her car and still see her frequently. I’ve really grown fond of her and don’t find her quite as scary as I used to. She’s a pretty cool lady, and she sure loves her smart car.
Article written by Angela Sand Fiedorowicz
The Daimler AG brand smart fortwo that was introduced to the US market in January 2008 is a car that in the US has been called a “microcar”. The smart car has been called a micro car, a city car and a mini car, and by some a supermini—these terms are not new, and mean different things to different people. The British and other Europeans use the terms differently than Americans.
Outside the US, and outside American English, the definition of a micro car has a considerable amount of variation. This has to do with linguistic differences, and also varying jurisdictional, tax and licensing considerations, among other things—in some cases the definitions are quite limiting.
Not everyone in the US would use the micro term for a smart, and there are those in the US and those outside who would very definitely maintain that the smart is not a micro car in any way except in the most general sense of the word. There is a Shri Lankan company that makes vehicles called Micro but they refer to their Micro trend (name in small letters) model as a “city” car in terms of it’s class.
Interestingly, it was designed by Pininfarina. Micro the Shri Lankan Company only calls them micro cars because they are built by Micro the car company. There is also a French company called Microcar that manufactures what they consider microcars, and NEVs or Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, which are for short travel distances. Sometimes called “station cars” these are for very short trips. French Micro was founded as a division of the sailboat manufacturer Beneteau. Honda recently showed a pure concept car called the P-Nut or Personal Neo-Urban Transport..
Typical European microcars have had seats only for operator and occupant (smart fortwo fits here), but have had a range of displacement of about 50-500 cc (smart now has about 999 cc in the US gas-injection version), one wheel drive (smart has two), cable operated brakes (smart has fully-assisted hydraulic ABS brakes), quite simple suspensions (smarts are simple but not as simple), and 6-7-8 inch wheels (smart typically has in the US 15-17 inch wheels). So is the smart a true microcar in the Euopean sense? The smart fortwo is not considered a re-iteration or re-invention of the micro car—it is generally referred to as a “city” car which is another category altogether, but overlaps with the “micro” car category. The term “city” car is a very general term meaning a very small low power vehicle for use in the city or in urban areas. The term “urban” car is also used, or even “ultra-urban” and the smart is very definitely in the ultra urban city car category. In Europe these vehicles are an official car category known as “A-Segment” cars. Some small cars outside the US are referred to as CUVs or Compact Urban Vehicles. The term “minicar” generally refers to either a city car, a size category of Janpanese vehicle, the Brazilian Obvio!, the Bond Minicar from Great Britain, or the British Mini (1959-2000) or BMW MINI—though the last is sometimes called a supermini car.
A “supermini” is a British car classification name that is generally for cars larger than so-called “city” cars but smaller than a small family car. This term has been applied to smart cars but only if you do not call smart a “city” car, since a supermini is theoretically larger than a city car. Go figure. Even BMW’s Mini Cooper may be a super Mini but would not be any longer thought of as a “supermini”–go figure again. Some superminis are referred to as “hatchbacks” for obvious reasons. Smart is sometimes referred to simply as a hatchback car. The B-segment in Europe corresponds to the “Subcompact” in the US. Overall size of vehicle is an issue, but engine size seems to be a factor that is primary in importance in determining which cars belong in the category. Engine displacement over 700 cc seems to prevent inclusion into some notions of what a microcar is. Some definitions exclude cars whose production or manufacture ended before 1945. Historically, many microcars have been referred to as early as the 1920s as “cyclecars” and also “bubble” cars in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Some of these have only three wheels.
Article written by Chris Sutch, smart center Annapolis, MD
Have you ever wondered why all supercars are two-seaters?
This is the latest commercial from smart and it’s a funny one…
smart is also offering a free $25 Target gift when you test drive a smart car during smart Value Days! Click Here for more information.
I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve read that in print. The smart has had a lot of media attention since arriving in the US, some great, some not so great. Having been along for the whole ride of smart coming to America, (I was hired before the showroom construction was completed), I consider myself, as should you, a bit of an expert on the topic.
Now we’re all entitled to our own opinion but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to subscribe to others opinions. Sometimes certain opinions are portrayed as facts and that’s when I get annoyed. Let’s look at the facts:
It is NOT a traditional 5 speed automatic
It is NOT a traditional manual
It IS an Automated Manual
What does that mean…? I’m glad you asked! It’s best to think of the smart as a manual that you can drive as an automatic, (wha?). You can put the car in Drive and go and never ever ever drive it as a manual, if you wish. In automatic mode the car chooses which gear you should be in and provides optimum fuel efficiency. The proper way to drive the car is to slightly ease off the accelerator when you feel it start to shift into the next gear, (like I said, it is not a traditional automatic). Those that say the transmission is “quirky or jerky or weird” have not been properly taught to drive a smart. That’s my job. C’mon down, I’d be thrilled to show you the uniqueness of the car and how to drive it properly.
But, your missing out, (in my opinion), on all the fun if you never drive the car as a manual. I like driving a manual transmission. My father taught me to drive in a manual car when I was sixteen. I think it’s fun and sporty and I love going through the gears and raising the RPMs and having that control of the power! I don’t, however, enjoy driving a manual sitting in rush hour traffic. What a nightmare. Clutch-gas-clutch-gas and the next thing you know you have a cramp in your leg and you’ve moved 7 inches. Here’s the cool part. The smart has an electric clutch. No stalling, no leg cramps. It’s the best of both worlds and makes the car even more awesome than it already is!
So there, thank you for letting me share my opinion. Oh, one more thing, open your mind…
Article written by Angela Sand Fiedorowicz, smart center Annapolis, MD
Annapolis, MD – Mercedes-Benz of Annapolis is pleased to announce that they are now an exclusive dealership for smart brand vehicles. Beginning in January 2008, smart enthusiasts will be glad to know that the highly anticipated wait will be over with the introduction of the newly established smartcenter Annapolis.
The brand was born originally as a joint venture between Swatch and Mercedes-Benz. The designers at Swatch brought ideas to Mercedes-Benz to create what they dubbed as an “ultra-urban” car. Today, smart remains a member of the Mercedes Car Group, a Daimler AG Company. Smart USA is a division of Penske Automotive Group and is headquartered in Bloomfield, Michigan. They are the exclusive distributor for smart in North America and Puerto Rico.
Already a top seller in Europe and throughout 36 countries world-wide, smart vehicles will now add the United States to its list of buyers. The vehicles are set to make their mark in the U.S. as a new definition of innovation, intelligence and functionality. With its efficient size and urban appeal, the metropolitan Baltimore-D.C. market is a sure fit for smart.
The smartcenter Annapolis is one of 67 smartcenters to open in the U.S. The dealership participated in a detailed qualification process, including an assessment of reputation for exceptional customer care.
The smartcenter Annapolis will begin accepting reservations for new smart Fortwos and scheduling test drives in January. The smartcenter Annapolis will sell three trim levels of the smart Fortwo. The Pure Coupe will retail for $11,590, Passion Coupe will retail for $13,590 and the well – equipped Passion Cabriolet Convertible retail for $16,590.
Mercedes-Benz of Annapolis
324 Sixth Street Annapolis, MD 21403
President – Brian Fader