The latest SmartForTwo is quite a blow for all the motorbike riders out there. You see; why do we ride motorbikes? Because they are fuel efficient and easy to park, of course. You’ll find that the little SmartForTwo sips, on average, 4.7 litres/100 km. It’s also only 2.69 metres long – so most parks will seem enormous!
It’s not much fun riding a bike in the wet. Rain becomes fun in the SmartForTwo. Snugly seated inside the car’s funky cabin, and with the air conditioning keeping you warm, you’ll be smiling at the sodden motorcyclist outside.
Motorbikes are fun to ride, especially quickly around corners. The SmartForTwo has a good turn of pace. The 1.0-litre injected engine is zippy, and is very capable of keeping its nose in front at the lights. The chassis is taut and grippy, too. So going flat tack around the corners is a hoot in this little city sniper.
The new car is much improved in the interior. Quality trim and comfortable seats, four airbags, Traction Stability Control, air-conditioning, and nice sounds make for an excellent way of beating the fuel price rises. And driving something a little special to work adds a spice to your life.
These are well put together cars, and one of the extra little safety is daytime running lights.
If you are pretty smart and well informed, you may probably be well aware that the all-new Smart car already graces the streets in Australia’s great city centres.
How did this tiny wee car come about? Smart is derived from the joint venture that originally designed the smart city coupe: Swatch and Mercedes ART. The Smart car goes back to the 1970s when a Mercedes-Benz designer named Johann Tomforde developed the concept. However, it was not until 1989 that Nicolas Hayek, who was the head of the Swatch Watch Corporation, created the Swatch mobile. In the early 1990s, Mercedes-Benz first built a prototype city car, and so a joint venture between the Swatch Watch Corporation and Mercedes Benz began in 1994. By 1998, the smart city coupe was produced and sold in some of the European countries.
Since 1998, DaimlerChrysler AG acquired total ownership of Smart. Now, a range of Smart products are available globally. They include the ForTwo cabriolet, roadster, and the striking ForFour sedan, which was launched in 2004. Australia enjoys coupe and cabriolet models.
The challenge of the new Smart ForTwo design started with safety. Extensive designing, research and development were carried out by some very clever engineers that resulted in what is known as the tridion safety cell, a “hard shell” that surrounds the Smart ForTwo’s occupants with an energy absorbing system of longitudinal and transverse structural members. Added to the solid shell structure were several active safety features: Electronic Stability Control (ESP) and ABS brakes. All Smart ForTwos are well equipped with passive safety features. Full driver and passenger front airbags, side airbags for thorax protection and knee protectors are standard. Also, the collapsible steering column will retract in the event of a serious front-end collision. The Smart ForTwo also boasts seatbelt tensioners that sense motion changes to reduce slack in a few milliseconds while also triggering a belt force limiter that releases a controlled amount of pressure on the chest before it becomes too great. Side impact tests carried out by the European NCAP crash testing organization found that the Smart ForTwo’s passenger cell remained rigid at impact speeds of 45 miles an hour. After the event of such an impact, both doors opened easily.
The Smart ForTwo design is tiny; however, it is possible for two six footers to sit very comfortably in the nicely contoured seats, which provide good support. The Smart ForTwo has plenty of storage space in the cabin, and situated above the mid-mounted engine and accessed through a glass hatch with a drop-down tailgate is a very small…um…er…boot. The interior finishing is very good and has an appealing blend of colour changes and texture. The simple tachometer design and instrument layout is pleasing to the eye and very functional. As far as equipment levels go, even the entry models include all the safety gadgets and central remote locking. Air conditioning, power windows and alloy wheels are optional. These options become standard on the next model up and other standard items are: heated power mirrors, CD player, shift paddles and a panorama fixed glass roof with opening shade. The Smart ForTwo cabrio is the top model, and boasts an upgraded stereo and a soft folding roof that has a defrosting rear window
On the road, the Smart ForTwo is nimble and responsive. Even though the car is short, the chassis copes admirably over bumps. The tyres are larger in the back than at the front.
The 1.0 litre 52 kW three-cylinder engine with a five-speed sequential gearbox can top 147 km/h. There is a nippy 62 kW engine that is 1.0 litres and turbo-charged. The average fuel consumption for both models is well under 5 litres/100 km, most of which will be running around town. Hopefully, Smart in Australia will introduce the diesel version Smart ForTwo, which is equipped with a 34 kW Mercedes engine and does an incredibly miserly 3 litres/100km. And for those who enjoy a little more performance, it would be great to enjoy the Smart ForTwo Brabus version, where the engine has a power output of 75 kW.
The Smart ForTwo is a nice little car that certainly makes for easy parking. You can just keep driving forwards into the vacant car park without the hassle of backing the car into a tight fitting parallel car park. It is an interesting and efficient option for around town commuting. Best take a look.
The current model series includes the:
For any more information on the Smart ForTwo, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Smart dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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