This is Smart's Send-off for the Internal Combustion Engine

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
this is smarts send off for the internal combustion engine

Before Smart goes all-electric next year, Daimler plans to offer “an exclusive and strictly limited special edition” model as a farewell to its combustion-engine vehicles. Designed by Konstantin Grcic, a man known for designing mass-manufactured minimalist furniture, the automaker says these limited-edition cars are for the “most ardent collectors only.”

Presumably, Daimler is referring to collectors in the general sense, as we’ve never heard of anyone with a devoted throng of Smart cars.

While it may sound like a bit of a turd, the company also said Brabus’ involvement was essential in developing the 21 models slated to roll off the assembly line in August of this year. That means more grunt and improved noises coming out of the back end — something we can all appreciate, be it in the bedroom or out on the open road.

Brabus already builds the Ultimate 125 Cabrio, which is essentially a Smart ForTwo on steroids. However, the thing about steroids is that they can only take you so far from where you started. The 125 uses the standard 900cc Renault-sourced three-cylinder turbo, resulting in 123 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 9.2 seconds. Not exactly blistering, but quicker than the base car and probably fun enough to enjoy on a nice day thanks to its open top. Unfortunately, it’s too expensive to rationalize at the European equivalent of $65,000.

That could be the story with the #21 Final Collector’s Edition, too. We imagine affixing Grcic’s name to the project cost Daimler something (and already know that Brabus’ work doesn’t come cheap). However, there’s no word as to what will power the last 21 Smart cars equipped with an internal-combustion engine. Daimler devoted most of its announcement to praising Smart as a forward-looking green brand.

“In 2020 smart will become the first automotive manufacturer in the world to have uncompromisingly switched its entire portfolio over from combustion engines to electric drives,” Daimler said in the official announcement.

We suppose that’s worth mentioning, even though there are now countless automotive startups across the globe with electrification being their primary goal. Yet it doesn’t help give us a real sense of what this car is actually all about. The trendy designer, who decided that a miniaturized Fast and Furious theme was the way to go with the car, was similarly unhelpful.

“[The number] 21 commemorates something special, celebrating 21 years of smart. For me, it also symbolizes much of what being 21 is about: being free, breaking boundaries, breaking out, showing your rebellious side,” said Grcic. “The Final Collector’s Edition brings this essential idea to life as we take our leave of a piece of automotive history.”


[Images: Daimler AG]

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2 of 19 comments
  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on May 16, 2019

    Send-off? I'd rather see tons of them going off a cliff, like that Roadkill episode they shot in Alaska. But then these probably wouldn't be as entertaining as an old BOF GM B-Body going off a cliff.

  • EGSE EGSE on May 16, 2019

    That paint scheme wouldn't appeal to me if it were free. But it doesn't look like the car was assembled from junkyard parts like the Volkswagen Harlequin series awhile back. The first time I saw one I was convinced it had a salvage title. Corey, there's a Rare Rides candidate if you run out of more worthy iron to write about.

  • Tassos I have driven exclusively manuals in my own cars for the first 30-40 years of my driving history. They were usually very affordable, fuel efficient simple vehicles with front wheel drive. Their manuals sucked (in the case of a 1983 GM vehicle I bought new) or were perfect (in my two 5-sp manual Hondas).After 2005, I started driving excellent 5 and 7 speed automatics in my own cars, which were NOT available in the US market with manuals.With today's outstanding automatics, which are also MORE, not LESS, fuel efficient than any manual, your question becomes MEANINGLESS.Because NO CAR "needs" a manual.Only some DRIVERS "WANT", NOT "NEED", a manual.Let us use language PRECISELY.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic And this too shall pass.....Ford went thru this when the model T was introduced. It took the moving assembly line to make real money. As time progressed, it got refined, eventually moving to the Model A. Same kind of hiccups with fuel injection, 4 speed automatic, Firestone tires, dashboards with no radio knobs, etc, etc, etc. Same thing with EVs. Yep, a fire or two in the parking lot, espresso time at the charging stations, other issues yet to be encountered, just give it time. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Art Vandelay 2025 Camaro and Challenger
  • Mike Beranek Any car whose engine makes less than 300 ft-lbs of torque.
  • Malcolm Mini temporarily halted manual transmission production but brought it back as it was a surprisingly good seller. The downside is that they should have made awd standard with the manual instead of nixing it. Ford said recently that 4dr were 7% manual take rate and I think the two door was 15%.