In the late 1980s, SMH (makers of the Swatch brand of watches) CEO Nicolas Hayek began developing an idea for a new car using the same type of manufacturing strategies and personalization features used to popularize Swatch watches. He believed that the automotive industry had ignored a sector of potential customers who wanted a small and stylish city car. Sometime in 1991, he reached an agreement with Volkswagen to manufacture the Smart, however, the collaboration didn’t work and finally it was Daimler AG, who joined hands to manufacture the Smart.
The iconic brand after all these years has been struggling and in order to revive fortunes, Daimler has unveiled the 2016 Smart Fortwo and Forfour. The new cars will continue to be rear-engined, rear-wheel driven and will be available in two-door and four-door versions. Power will come from 3-cylinder engines which will be available in three guises, developing 60 , 71 and 90 hp respectively. A five-speed manual will be available while a “twinamic” dual-clutch transmission will also be offered. The Fortwo will require a road 22.8 feet wide(curb to curb) while the Forfour needs 28.4 feet to turn around.
The new model has been tested in frontal collisions against the Mercedes S-class and the C-class. It offers a crosswind assist system as standard, while lane keeping assist and forward collision warning system are optional. It comes standard with a driver side airbag, driver kneebag and a front passenger airbag. Changes have been made to iron out the harsh ride and enhance comfort & refinement.
The 2016 Smart offers rich exterior colours and around 40 combination options between it’s bodypanels and the tridion cell( shell of the car).
The car will be on sale in America, sometime in late 2015, while in Europe sales will begin this November. Closer home, sometimes we need a reference point to see the good around us and realize it’s value. Looking at this car, we can definitely say, smart things do come in Nano packages.