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Smart Automobile is a German automaker, a division of Daimler AG multinational automotive corporation, headquartered in Böblingen, Baden-Württemberg. Its products are marketed globally – in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia.
Who wouldn’t like to have a car that could easily make its way through a traffic jam – so that you shouldn’t be afraid of driving in the rush hour – while being extremely fuel-efficient and good-looking?
Swatch, a Swiss clock manufacturer, and Daimler thought the same. The identical point of view on the matter prompted them to join hands and start to design a new kind of a vehicle. Swatch should have designed a car while Daimler agreed to engineer it.
Interestingly, Swatch’s CEO Nicolas Hayek contacted Volkswagen at first to offer collaboration. However, the automaker was already busy with its own fuel-saving vehicle that would consume 3 litres of fuel per 100 km (Volkswagen Lupo 3L). VW considered its own project to be much better and more profitable that’s why they didn’t risk to accept the offer.
The first controversies were caused by a name for the car. Hayek craved to retain the name of his company and call it Swatchmobile or Swatch Car. But Daimler refused flatly and proposed to make up a neutral name. Eventually, they bargained on Smart that stands for Swatch+Mercedes+art.
When this argument was settled down, they had the next, more serious one over design that led to Swatch’s dropping out. Then, Daimler acquired its stake at the company and continued to work on the model on its own.
In 1998, when sales started, Smart was pretty popular; people appreciated huge advantages of such a tiny vehicle. Still, it cannot be said about the following models. They weren’t received as favourably and cost Daimler billions of euros.
Smart’s logo pictures a lowercase letter “c” that stands for “compact” and an arrow that signifies “forward thinking”.
Smart is Daimler’s. When it comes to safety standards, you shouldn’t worry. Be sure, they are top-level. Let its diminutive size not confuse you. This car received high marks in front and side crashworthiness by the IIHS and NHTSA as well as a top estimate for roof strength and side impact protection.
Smart models have roll cages like in race cars, built in to ensure decent protection in the case of an accident and peace of mind while you’re behind the car’s wheel.
If a road is poor and there’s the danger of swerving, the Electronic Stability Program recognizes it immediately and takes corresponding measures to avoid it such as stalling the engine and braking the wheels.
Smart’s crash management system provides for a possibility of car accidents. It’s the reason the car is equipped not only with belt force limiters, seat belt tensioners, full-size airbags, and a withdrawable steering column but also with a technology able to stall the engine, unlock the doors, or turn on hazard lights.
Currently Produced Models
At the moment (in the year 2015), such Smart models as the Forfour, the Fortwo, and the Fortwo Electric Drive are manufactured.
The Smart Forfour is a mini car that has been made over two generations. The first generation of the Forfour, sharing the platform with the Mitsubishi Colt, was marketed from 2004 till 2006. After an eight-year interval, in 2014, the company represented the second generation on the basis of the third-generation Renault Twingo.
The Smart Fortwo is a mini car that has been produced in three generations. In 46 countries all around the world, about 1.7 million Fortwos have been sold by 2015. It’s available as a hatchback and convertible.
The Smart Fortwo ED is an electric vehicle that comes in three generations. It’s a perfect variant for those who drive no more than 70 miles a day. If your daily routine requires 100 miles or more, it’s still alright. All you should do is to check locations of charging stations on your route before starting on the journey.
Also, take into consideration that a type of driving greatly influences battery duration. If you’re driving in a city, your Smart’s battery engine will last longer due to the regenerative braking system. The system enables the battery to recharge a little each time you hit the brake. However, the situation is completely different if you’re on a highway. Without a need to pull up so often, be ready that a battery will drain much quicker. Nevertheless, it’s quite a reasonable cost for clean environment, isn’t it?
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