Smart fortwo (1998)

Smart fortwo (1998)
Smart Roadster (2003)


Smart Roadster

The Smart Roadster is a two-door microcar first introduced in 2003 by Smart GmbH. Unfortunately, sales of the Roadster and Roadster Coupé were far below expectations, resulting in a halt of production of both models in November 2005.

History

At the 1998 Paris Motor Show, the two-seat, 2.5-metre Smart City Coupe (later named Smart Fortwo) was launched. This was the beginning of a new car brand and one of the more radical vehicle concepts to hit the European market since the bubble cars of the 1950s. It was also the beginning of a difficult period for Smart. The City Coupe had stability problems that were uncovered only immediately prior to launch. These forced a package of alterations to be made that were both expensive and compromised the car’s handling, ride and gear shift. Public concerns over the car's stability, combined with Smart’s elitist marketing and the sheer radicality of the car’s design, proved damaging to initial sales. Production projections were slashed from 200k per year to 80k, close to disastrous for a new brand with just one product.

Inside the company, the evangelical buzz surrounding the launch of the radical City Coupe quickly evaporated. With new management, new marketing initiatives and continuing revisions to the car’s engineering to answer pulic concerns, future vehicle plans, including development of a four-seat model, had not been far advanced. It was under these inauspicious circumstances the Smart Roadster was born.

Design & Development

Under design director Jens Manske in autumn 1998, Smart's 14-strong design and engineering team began to sketch possible future Smart cars. They soon realised that the powertrain of the City Coupe was ideal for a small sports car, with a compact turbo engine driving the rear wheels via a sequential 6 speed gearbox.

Smart Roadster Coupe (2003)


Smart Roadster Coupe

The Smart Roadster is a two-door microcar first introduced in 2003 by Smart GmbH. Unfortunately, sales of the Roadster and Roadster Coupé were far below expectations, resulting in a halt of production of both models in November 2005.

History

At the 1998 Paris Motor Show, the two-seat, 2.5-metre Smart City Coupe (later named Smart Fortwo) was launched. This was the beginning of a new car brand and one of the more radical vehicle concepts to hit the European market since the bubble cars of the 1950s. It was also the beginning of a difficult period for Smart. The City Coupe had stability problems that were uncovered only immediately prior to launch. These forced a package of alterations to be made that were both expensive and compromised the car’s handling, ride and gear shift. Public concerns over the car's stability, combined with Smart’s elitist marketing and the sheer radicality of the car’s design, proved damaging to initial sales. Production projections were slashed from 200k per year to 80k, close to disastrous for a new brand with just one product.

Inside the company, the evangelical buzz surrounding the launch of the radical City Coupe quickly evaporated. With new management, new marketing initiatives and continuing revisions to the car’s engineering to answer pulic concerns, future vehicle plans, including development of a four-seat model, had not been far advanced. It was under these inauspicious circumstances the Smart Roadster was born.

Design & Development

Under design director Jens Manske in autumn 1998, Smart's 14-strong design and engineering team began to sketch possible future Smart cars. They soon realised that the powertrain of the City Coupe was ideal for a small sports car, with a compact turbo engine driving the rear wheels via a sequential 6 speed gearbox.

Smart forfour (2004)

Smart forfour (2004)
Smart Crosstown Showcar (2005)


Smart Crosstown Showcar

A totally new approach, yet instantly recognizable as a smart

smart has a surprise in store for visitors to this year's Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA): the world premiere of the smart crosstown show car. Though there's no denying its close relationship to the smart fortwo, this show car seems to have been designed with quite different uses in mind. However one thing is clear: the smart crosstown demonstrates just how much is possible on the basis of the smart fortwo, and shows that the fortwo's unique concept still harbours a great deal of potential.

Its close relationship to the ultra-short two-seater can be seen not least in the compact dimensions. With a wheelbase of barely 1.90 metres and short overhangs (40 centimetres at the front and 39 at the back), the smart crosstown has an overall length of just 2.68 metres, with a width and height each of around 1.58 metres. For purposes of comparison, the smart fortwo is 2.50 metres long, with a wheelbase of 1.81 metres. It has a width of 1.51 metres, and is 1.55 metres high.

With features such as a stowaway windscreen, the smart crosstown seems at first to have much in common with an off-roader. However, it is on the streets of the big city (although not exclusively) that it feels most at home. In other words, the smart crosstown has the same area of application as the smart fortwo. But there's a difference: because of the puristic way in which the vehicle concept has been interpreted, this car turns every drive into an urban jungle adventure.

Smart fortwo cabrio (2005)

Smart fortwo cabrio (2005)
Smart fortwo cdi (2005)

Smart fortwo cdi (2005)
Smart fortwo coupe (2005)

Smart fortwo coupe (2005)
Smart forfun2 (2006)


Smart forfun2

The smart forfun, a smart forfour with monster truck ambitions, caused quite a stir at the Athens Motor Show in November 2005. Following the extremely positive response to this, the decision to develop a further vehicle with a similar character was a logical step.

Following the initiative of Mercedes-Benz Hellas, Stefan Attart (46), Greek Champion in 4x4 Rally Races had clear ideas: the new off-road vehicle should have the body of a smart fortwo. A suitable platform now had to be found.

Awakening the inner child

DaimlerChrysler has always had an unusually large range of off-road vehicles - from the M-Class to the G-model and the Unimog. One look at the smart forfun2 (pronounced smart for-fun to the second) and you see straightaway that it is based on a Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406 series.

This is what makes it so fascinating: the combination of two vehicles, each of which has achieved cult status in its respective segment. So it's no wonder that the smart forfun2 awakens the inner child in everyone who sees it.

Combining vehicle and platform

But first things first: once the platform for the smart forfun2 had been decided, in January of this year Stefan Attart started working on the first designs. It goes without saying that there's more to an off-road vehicle like this than simply screwing four wheels under a smart fortwo.

Based on technical drawings of both vehicles, a design was created that for the first time clearly showed the direction the new vehicle was to take. Stefan Attart laid down the design that was to connect the vehicle with the platform, and precise attachment points were defined on the axles and the chassis.

Smart fortwo edition red (2006)

Smart fortwo edition red (2006)