February 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Haven’t heard much from Smart recently? Well, no one has but the Daimler’s mini car makers are still alive and kicking. To prove it Smart is taking an all-electric, roofless version of the Smart ForTwo to the Geneva Motor Show – named the Forspeed concept.
Overall, the Forspeed resembles the Smart Crossblade that was made in limited numbers in the early 2000s. Giving the Forspeed its concept car looks are some fancy taillights, no external door handles and since it’s got no roof, there’s a toneau cover that can either cover the entire interior or just the passenger side if drivers get caught in the rain.
It may have speed in its name but the Forspeed is not a rocket ship. It uses a 30kW electric motor to take it from standing to 60kph in 5.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 120kph if you want to wait that long. If you need a little extra oomph there is a boost button on the dash offers another 5kW. The powertrain also consists of an Electric Drive that is shared with the Fortwo ED.
Range for the Forspeed is estimated to be around 135 kilometers, with an 80-percent charge possible in 45 minutes. Continue reading “Smart reveals ForSpeed concept – not that speedy” »
October 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Smart recently announced that it will partner up with Nissan to build a new small vehicle to go on sale firstly in the States and then possibly global markets after. Details are fairly scarce at this stage, but Smart has revealed a couple of sketches to let everyone know whats in development. The new machine will be a five-door, B-segment entry powered by a conventional petrol engine, and it will reach the American market in late 2011.
With this short development time in mind, it’s likely the car will be heavily based on the Nissan Micra. The sketches don’t reveal too much, but they do show that Smart still has an eye for sharp design.
The new Nissan-based Smart model is part of a broader strategic cooperation between Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Group that was revealed in April. Under the agreement, the two groups also plan to co-develop a new platform that will be used on the successors to the Smart Fortwo and the Renault Twingo. Stay tuned to see what else comes from this burgeoning partnership.
July 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
The internet has been ignited with rumours and speculation that the recent partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Renault may mean the long dead Smart Roadster will be revived. Apparently a source within Smart says the company has had its eyes on bringing the roadster back to market for some time now. Smart could be looking at branching out from its city car roots and the recent partnership with Renault may help things along. Renault has a host of experience producing inexpensive small cars that Smart could use to its advantage.
There’s no word on which Renault model Smart could use as the platform for the reborn Roadster, but there’s some indication that other products may be part of the company’s plans as well. There may even be a potential Mini Countryman competitor in the works, meaning that Smart could break into the CUV market. Either way, any new blood in the Smart portfolio is bound to help. Many drivers still aren’t prepared to make the kind of sacrifices that the Smart ForTwo requires, but an ultra-compact convertible may see serious sales.
April 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
The auto industry is all about getting into bed with one another. It’s an perpetual tale of courtship and heartache, with the occasional oddly formed incestuous child. So, it comes as no surprise that yet another alliance has been announced, this time between Renault-Nissan (already an alliance) and Daimler AG.
In the global economic scheme of things there are advantages to sharing, and that’s exactly what will happen. We missed out on the foreplay, but there’s plenty of slap and tickle in the press release below:
Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG announce wide-ranging strategic cooperation
April 7, 2010
Cooperation on the next-generation smart fortwo and Renault Twingo, including electric versions, as well as on expanding the smart and Twingo families
Widespread powertrain sharing and co-development on future projects with applications across passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, specifically:
o The sharing and co-development of diesel and gasoline engines from the Renault-Nissan Alliance; to be used in the new smart and Renault Twingo and to be adapted and modified with Mercedes- Benz characteristics for its new generation of premium compact cars
o The sharing of gasoline and diesel engines coming from Daimler to Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan Motor Company, and providing the opportunity for further collaboration
o The sharing of a Renault-Nissan Alliance diesel engine and transmission for the Mercedes-Benz Vito
¢ Collaboration in the field of light commercial vehicles ¢ One-time cross-shareholding amounting to 3.1% of each partner’s
¢ Additional synergies encompassing selective common purchasing opportunities, exchange of operational benchmarks and best practices to be shared across both groups.
Continue reading “Daimler has faux threesome with Renault-Nissan” »
March 24th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Ferrari vs Smart car…Who will win???
February 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Crashing a smart car to test occupant survivability
December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Smart Hayabusa pulling some burnouts and a wheelstand
December 17th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
This Smart Car commercial was a little too risque – no backseats equals no risk!