What is a Smart Car? Smart Coupe & Smart Electric Car Change the Game

What is a Smart Car? Smart Coupe & Smart Electric Car Change the Game

Posted 08.07.2012 in Articles by Angela

What is a Smart Car? In the simplest terms, the Smart Car is a microcar designed for ideal city driving. But actually take a step inside a Smart Car, whether it's the coupe, the cabriolet, or the new electric car, and you'll find the Smart Car is much more than that. Here's a quick glance at the current fleet of Smart Cars available today and what makes them so special.

SMART stands for Swatch Mercedes Art. Nicholas Hayek, inventor of the Swatch watch, worked with Mercedes-Benz to produce an “ultra-urban” car, the result of which became the Smart Car. Smart Cars combine the emphasis on personalization from Swatch with a Mercedes style, and promotes the artistic freedom of the customer. The smart fortwo car is made for ease of driving and parking in an urban setting, and in 2008 America became the 37th country to sell them. The basic car models all come with a ton of features and optional customizations to make the Smart Car whatever you want.

The Smart Pure Coupe is about as basic as you can get, with a price starting at $12,490. Consumer Reports testing shows that the 38 mpg it gets makes it the best gas-based car in terms of miles per gallon. Its body panels are completely interchangeable—so you can change your car's look—and 100% recyclable. The entire car is 85% recyclable. There are 15” steel wheels with smart wheel covers and 7 color options, with red, blue, and metallic shades as well as black, white, and grey. Radio and A/C don't come standard, but are optional for a few extra hundred dollars each. The radio will have a USB/AUX interface for MP3 player and USB storage. The Pure Coupe has a solid roof, a 5-speed transmission with automatic and manual modes, hill start assist, and for safety features, provides 8 full-size airbags, an electronic stability program (esp) if it thinks you are in danger of swerving, a tridion safety cell modeled after a race car rollcage, and crash boxes.

The Smart Passion Coupe is a bit of a step up from the basic Smart Pure Coupe. Just under $15000 to begin with ($14890), it's a sportier version with all of what the Smart Pure Coupe, and more fun features such as a panoramic roof with a built-in sun screen. The interior color options available for no cost include black, red, and beige; the car has 15” 12-spoke alloy wheels, a smart radio with USB and AUC inputs, two door speakers, and an optional upgrade with a subwoofer and an 8-channel digital amplifier. The car also has power windows and power heated side mirrors, and automatic climate control.  For $3000 more, the Smart Passion Cabriolet offers a remote-controlled convertible soft top that can be closed in a matter of seconds, a rear glass defroster, and side roof bars that can be easily stowed.

The latest model is the Smart Electric Drive, which will be coming in the fall of 2012. It is a 100% electric car that takes 3 and a half hours to change from 20 to 80 percent with a 220V outlet, or can be charged on a common household 110V outlet to a full charge. It is just as customizable as the coupe and the cabriolet with the same tires, interchangeable panels, and interior design. The car can drive in the city, depending on temperatures, from an estimated 63 miles with combined highway and city driving, to 98 miles in an urban environment, on a full charge. The car has a maximum speed of 60 mph, and the price will start at just under $30,000.  

The Smart Car models all come with a variety of different options to make the Smart Car extremely customizable. The Pure Coupe has optional armrests, fog lamps, electric power steering, heated seats, an anti-theft alarm system, and more, for prices from $30 to $740. The Passion Coupe has, in addition to the options available for the Pure Coupe, an optional ambient lighting system, navigation system, surround system, dashboard gauges, and so on. The manufacturers encourage total customization of the exterior, so that the Smart Car can be far more than 7 colors and a small two-seater car.

Image (CC) jiazi


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