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Smart models, news & reviews
By Ben Oliver
03 June 2007 02:36
Given that it’s now Smart’s only model, yes. The Roadster was canned at the end of 2004 and the ForFour last year, leaving only the original two-seat city car. It keeps the ForTwo name, despite no longer having to distinguish itself from its deceased bigger brother. Sales of the other two were disastrous and Smart has never made a profit… Parent DaimlerChrysler thought about selling the brand or just closing it down, but did its sums and saw that it could make a profit on a new generation of ForTwo if it made it cheaper to build and started selling it in America. And it didn’t want to throw away the feverish customer loyalty the little car has built up over its eight expensive years. So unlike the Roadster and ForFour, the new ForTwo has to stick closely to the original Smart Formula.
Much of the cost reduction is in the way the car is built. It doesn’t feel cheaper - in fact the reverse is true – but it is visibly bigger. Of the extra 195mm in length, only 55mm is in the wheelbase and benefits cabin space; the rest is in the overhangs to meet European pedestrian crash safety regulations at the front, and American rear impact standards at the back. The nose is higher, more angular and masculine, again to meet the Euro regs, and the rear window has a gentler slope for a more coupe-like profile. There are detail changes like the twin rather than triple rear lamps and horizontal rather than vertical door handles. But the key Smart features like the exposed Tridion chassis and drop-down tailgate remain.
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Smart ForTwo 1.0 (2007) CAR review
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