How does a smart car work?
The Smart car has an interesting story behind it. Have you heard of Swatch watches? They were largely popular in the 80s and 90s. This same company had the idea for a vehicle. CEO, Nicolas Hayek saw a market need that was not being met for a small yet stylish ride and went after it. He originally wanted it to be called the ‘Swatchmobile’ but as we all know, that did not workout and the vehicle ended up being called the Smart car. Fun fact: the name does not have to do with it being “smart”. It was actually put into place to make both Nicolas Hayek and Mercedes happy. It really stands for Swatch Mercedes Art.
The idea for the Smart car was brought to several manufacturers. Nicolas reached an agreement with Volkswagen only for it to fall through several years later. After being turned away by other manufactures, ultimately Mercedes-Benz decided to take on the project. The first Smart car was launched in October 1998. These vehicles are highly popular in European streets due to their size and functionality. For example, in Croatia, the streets are so narrow that Smart cars are everywhere. It is nearly impossible to fit anything bigger than a BMW X1 downtown. The Smart car has a unique appearance. It looks almost like a cube on wheels but was designed for its small and sleek capabilities. It’s easily one of the lightest four-wheeled vehicles on the road.
Wondering how this tiny vehicle survives a vehicle accident. Each Smart car is equipped with what’s known as the Tridion steel safety shell. It has a small crumple zone at the front of the vehicle to help embrace impact, and the engine in Smart cars is located in the rear rather than the front. A 70-mph crash test conducted by British TV show “Top Gear” revealed that the Smart Fortwo’s body remained mostly intact when compared to that of a conventional subcompact car. Of course, a sudden crash of 70 mph will likely cause injuries to an occupant no matter what vehicle they were driving. The Smart Fortwo 61-hp engine can go from zero to 60 mph in about 15 seconds, which is a rather long time but you’re paying for the functionality of the vehicle over how fast it goes.
Smart Cars also have competition from the Toyota Yaris and MINI Cooper vehicles. For example, with MINI Cooper, this vehicle is fast and stylish, with poorer fuel economy than Smart Cars. The Toyota Yaris is cheaper, and faster than the Smart Fortwo. However, it is not as impressive with fuel economy. Overall the Smart Car is an impressive vehicle that serves for great functionality on the road. Did we mention how easy it is to fit into small parking spaces?