Origin of the Smart Car
The original idea for a Smart Car was proposed by Nicolas Hayek. He is credited for having invented Swatch watches. He came up with the idea to create a car that would be fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly at the same time. He also wanted a car that would be very easy to park in tight spots.
To achieve this objective, his company Swatch teamed up with Daimler Benz to create the first Smart Car. In 1994, they developed the original prototype which was known as the Micro Compact Car City Coupe. After initial testing and evaluation, the Smart Car went back into development
for some more modifications. In 1997, it was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The following year, it went into mass production and sale.
Nicolas was still dissatisfied with the Micro Compact Car City Coupe. This is because it ran on a regular engine. He personally preferred a hybrid powerplant or an electric motor. Furthermore, the final price of the Smart Car was much higher than he had wanted.
Sales of the Micro Compact Car City-Coupe turned out to be quite slow. Therefore, Swatch ended the partnership with Daimler-Benz. The latter was rebranded DaimlerChrysler. Currently, the Smart Car is officially part of the Mercedes branch within DaimlerChrysler.
How the Smart Car works
To understand how this little vehicle operates, it is necessary to understand its core characteristics. They include:
Its compact size
This is the most noticeable element of the Smart Car. It is amazingly small. The latest version of this car is the Fortwo. It has two seats for the driver and a passenger. This little vehicle is only 8 feet, 2.5 inches long. Its width is less than 5 feet. Furthermore, it has a height of only 5 feet. This makes for a small car that resembles a cube. The Smart Car received these small dimensions so as to maximize its fuel efficiency and enhance urban driving.
The Smart Car Fortwo has a chassis made of Tridion steel. It is light and reduces the weight of the Smart Car leading to higher fuel efficiency. It also promotes better handling. Its minimal length to width ratio also grants this car a high level of stability. The small dimensions also make this car easier to park. Interestingly, 3 Smart Cars can fit in a standard city parking space. This promotes its urban drivability.
The Smart Car Fortwo is available with 2 petrol engine options. They are 52kW and 66kW engines. These powerplants all have 3 cylinders. They are also made of lightweight stainless steel. This ensures that the Smart Car has a low weight resulting in better handling and performance. The engines also consume very little fuel. Hence, the Smart Car is highly fuel-efficient. In addition to that, they produce very little CO2. Thus, these
engines are Eco-friendly.
The price of fuel has skyrocketed all over the world. Thankfully, the low consumption engines of the Smart Car ensures that it is economical to drive. Interestingly, the 66kW engine is turbocharged. This delivers very quick acceleration. Quite recently, an electric engine option has been introduced for the Smart Car. It provides a driving range of 99 miles after a 3.5 charging time. This engine has no emissions.
The Smart Car presents occupants with access to all the latest infotainment and drives management technologies. It is semi-autonomous. This is due to the Driver-Assist package implemented in the car. It has facilities such as route memorization, lane-keeping assistance, and blind-spot monitoring. It also provides automatic parking assistance. Drivers can also steer the Smart Car remotely through a dedicated application. Through these features, the driver can control every aspect of how the Smart Car moves.
For infotainment, the Smart Car is fitted with a digital LCD instrument panel. It presents all driving performance statistics such as speed, mileage, and rev count. The car also has a touch screen panel. The driver and occupants can load multimedia, view navigation, surf the Internet and control the air conditioning of the Smart Car through this panel. In this way, the Smart Car provides its occupants with full control of cabin conditions. This panel can also be used to control the roof conversion mechanism in the Smart Car Carboy.
The Smart Car contains many other facilities that improve safety in addition to the Driver Assist Package. They work together to ensure cabin integrity and assist with speed control. These facilities also assist the driver to perform defensive driving.
Smart Car’s stability is electronically guided. It also provides the driver with Hill Start Assistance. Standard safety features for this car include the skid control system, electronically assisted braking, and anti-lock braking. It also has a dual-circuit braking system. Some technical additions have been implemented to make this vehicle safer. It has a set of disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear section.
The Smart Car is built for modern, urban drivers. As a result, it needs to be exciting and interesting for them to use. As a result, it is supremely customizable. The Smart Car Fortwo has been designed with removable body panels. They are attached using latches that are easy to open or close. As such, you can easily change up the body panels to transform the Smart Car’s color!
The Smart Car represents a big step into the future of vehicle manufacturing. Its small size makes it easy to drive and park. Its technologies are innovative and combine safety with performance. It is also fun to interact with. All these characteristics meld together to make Smart Cars work!