Roadshow Video Reviews
Smart ForTwo PreviewIs this the iPod of cars, or just a future collectible?
>> One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and a smidge. I'll be damned. Under nine feet long and this car's coming to US freeways. Let's go for a drive in the pending Smart 42. ^M00:00:16 [ Music ] ^M00:00:20 >> Here's my first tech trick. Can I fit in this thing? Now I'm nearly 6'3" folks so this will put it to the test. Yeah it works. Headroom is good; it even has this sliding panel here but with that closed I still don't lose any meaningful headroom. Leg room is fine; I am all the way back by the way. If you're beyond 6'3" you might feel tight in here. Oh by the way a quick note, in the interest of full disclosure I do have a reservation on one of these to buy one when they first come out. I dig this car but let me give you an objective view nonetheless. The head unit here we can't tell much about here. This is a Euro Spec car; we don't know what electronics they'll bring to the US but just to give us a taste, this is a six disc in-dash changer; we have AM, FM traffic alert; that's not a US thing really, mute button, seek and search; you've got your usual balance, bass and treble; it's pretty basic. We do have this source button right here which takes us from radio to CD to aux jack. Now the Aux jack by the way is right over here on the side by this open bin. The US car is gonna have an actual glove box door here, but Smart tells me they were the first manufacturer to put an Aux jack in a production car, so a nice little nugget there. The steering wheel has pedals on it; and as I understand it the Smart 42 when it comes to the US will also offer pedal shifting but pedal shifting of what? Of this, an interesting gear box; five speed SMG that can operate in a manual mode. So it has its own internal clutch. It's not truly a slush box; that's good news. There's no clutch pedal but technically it's a manual transmission so as you shift up and down it's operating its own clutch and changing gears. Now back around the stern we find the engine room such as it is. You drop down this tailgate panel which by the way is also surfaced by a glass panel above it. Lift up a sound deadener, lift up another access panel, and there it is, the 1 liter, 3 cylinder gas engine; fuel injected but no tricks, no turbocharging. This does about 71 horsepower, don't laugh. I've got a Fiat that does about half that and it gets around okay. Miles per gallon should be 40 plus on average; they haven't published the final number yet and bear in mind that's under the new tougher EPA regulations. Let me show you something out around the BAL [assumed spelling] I think you'll like. Smart 42's are going to have a complete set of interchangeable plastic body panels like this hood section here I'm doing. Undo two clips and lift it off and there's the guts of the car. You see this vehicle's built as a cage and the panels are basically esthetic. You can buy a new set, change the color of your car without ever touching a piece of sandpaper or an air compressor. But the bottom line is what's it like to drive this thing. Let's go. Now one thing you'll notice right away is this suspension is very firm but beyond that you've got a short wheel base. So this car, if I'm understanding the dynamics going on here right, it does a fair amount of this over road imperfections. That's just the nature of a short, short wheel base. This is actually a fun car to dart around traffic in because it's so damn short; you barely worry about clipping anybody 'cause there's nothing out back to clip 'em with. I mean that's it. When you get 'em in your mirror, you're clear. Whee. ^M00:03:45 [ Music ] ^M00:03:51