As an occasional user of Car2Go, I’ve come to believe that the Smart ForTwo is one of the least pleasant vehicles to drive. The car’s lone saving grace is its tiny footprint, which makes it ideal for maneuvering and parking in dense urban areas (the air-cooled 911-style pedals, hinged at the floor, would make the cut, were they not utterly joyless to manipulate). The newest Fortwo, visible below the jump, retains the same profile, but that’s not what I’m interested in.
In the automotive world “Smart” is little more than a punchline, a symbol of bad packaging and failed branding. The current lineup of cars has dragged on for far too long, languishing without any upgrades and watching its market share recede as newer, more exciting entrants come in to play. But the next generation might be a chance for the brand to do a complete 180.
The still you see above is from the latest promotional video regarding the new Smart ForTwo and ForFour. We will certainly see the ForTwo in the United States. The ForFour is less likely, but I am holding out hope – I really like its sister car, the Renault Twingo, and I would love one with the swirly camo wrap seen above.
San Francisco’s NBC affiliate is reporting on a new wave of vandalism sweeping the City by the Bay, car tipping. At least four Smart cars were flipped over Sunday night, by what one hooded-sweatshirt wearing witness described as a group of six to eight people wearing hooded sweatshirts. The case has drawn national attention, sparking the creation of a Facebook parody site, comments by the website totalfratmove.com, who called the car tippers “heroes,” and at least one cheekily written article on the website regarded by many as the seedy underbelly of the car blogging world, The Truth About Cars. (Read More…)
The Smart ForJeremy concept, a collaboration between Smart and haute couture designer Jeremy Scott, is going into production and is set to go on sale in Q4 of this year.
At the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show, Daimler used the occasion for their smart brand to introduce what they say will be “an extremely limited special edition” street legal production version of the smart fortwo by fashion designer Jeremy Scott known as the smart forjeremy, first shown as a concept at the Los Angeles show late last year. Also at this year’s Shanghai show, Buick introduced their latest Riviera concept, a product of GM’s Chinese design studio. 2013 is the 50th anniversary of the first Riviera, introduced on October 4, 1962 as a 1963 model.
The Renault Twin-Z concept, shown here, was unveiled at a Milanese furniture show (seriously) but is said to preview the next-generation Twingo. The five-door concept clearly takes its styling inspiration from the Volkswagen Up!, but there will be a crucial packaging difference – the Twingo will be rear-engined, since it shares a common chassis with the next-generation Smart car.
One of the more interesting bits of news this week comes from France; the next-generation Smart Forfour (big brother of the worst car on sale today, as voted by the readership) will share a common architecture with the adorable Renault Twingo.