Sunday, February 28, 2010

Get it right, folks.

Ever watch one of those slide shows your email host promotes and wonder why you bothered?
I viewed one titled "Wacky Cars" on Sympatico and marvelled at how lazy the dolt putting it together must have been. When you get past the missing captions and spelling and grammar errors - there are the glaring mistakes.
The description of this picture says, "There's no way to identify them precisely, but those were seen in England a few years ago. The two drivers are having fun behind the wheel of their electrical cars." Any microcar buff would be to identify the red car. It is a Peel Trident, made on the Isle of Man in the 1960s and is NOT an electric car.
Another slide erroneously states that this modified smart car was created for the Thunderbirds film. It was in fact made for the three part series Red Dwarf: Back to Earth which aired in April 2009.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Driving as far north as the gravel goes

DAWSON CITY, Yukon - Lorraine Sommerfeld handed over the key to the Star's Smart car with a strange combination of reluctance and enthusiasm. She'd driven it from Kelowna, B.C., north into the Yukon as part of the Smart Winter Expedition, a rolling convoy of seven of the little cars headed as far north as the permanent road goes.
Here you are, boss," she told me when we met up for the handover in Whitehorse. "She's like me. Treat her with respect, and she'll treat you the same way, too."
Of course, at this point Sommerfeld had the distinction of being the first person in the convoy to have driven off the road, heading into a snow bank the day before when a truck forced her too far over from her lane. So I didn't expect much when I began the drive the next morning.
There were a dozen automotive journalists and writers on this leg of the journey, driving the Smarts from Whitehorse all the way north to Inuvik.
I paired up with a young journalist who once worked at the Star and the two of us loaded the back of the car with our small bags and large jackets.

Read full story here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Smart Announces Edition Greystyle for Germany

Smart has just launched the ForTwo Edition Greystyle, a luxurious, special-edition version of its commuter car only for the German market.
The special edition Smart features bright yellow highlights to offset the matte grey finish. The Greystyle features body-color, 6-spoke, 15-inch wheels. Yellow accents are found on the mirror covers, instrument bezels, and seat stitching. The Nappa leather used inside is the same grade found in premium Mercedes-Benz offerings.
The ForTwo Greystyle is available in both coupe and convertible form. Engine choices include 71- and 84-hp powerplants. The subcompact also features start/stop technology that shuts off the engine whenever the brakes are applied at less than 5 mph. Smart says the technology can improve fuel economy by as much as 20 percent.
View source.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

New CO2 low for the smart fortwo city car

The super small city car has moved back to the top of the ‘green’ charts with news that the engineers at smart have shaved 2g/km of CO2 off its official emissions figure so that the diesel engine now emits only 86g/km.
For several years the smart fortwo has been at the forefront of the emissions table, however with the latest generation of diesel engines sneaking up on the fortwo the engineers have been able to improve the cdi’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
A high level of environmental friendliness is an innate characteristic of the mart fortwo. The diesel model – the smart fortwo cdi – always underlined this claim with carbon dioxide emissions of just 88 grams per kilometre, the lowest figure worldwide for cars with a combustion engine. Now the smart fortwo is setting a new record with emissions of just 86 g/km, and fuel consumption of 85.6 mpg (combined cycle) in the manual “softip” mode which means that it keeps its title of CO2 champion.
The measures included an improvement in the vehicle’s aerodynamics. A reduction in ride height by seven millimetres, for example, resulted in improved rolling resistance characteristics.
Dermot Kelly, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: “Our customers are proud to drive the vehicle with the lowest consumption worldwide, and we have been working hard to make our smart models even more environmentally friendly. “As a trendsetter we have to live up to the standards we set: the next level of sustainable drives is ready to go – the smart fortwo electric drive. From April this year, 100 drivers in London, the South East and West Midlands will be selected to take delivery of the latest-generation smart fortwo electric drive, and from 2012 the dream of motoring with no local emissions will become a reality for everyone.”
View source.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Smart cars survive Arctic test

Seven Smart cars survived an Arctic challenge this week, having driven on the Dempster Highway from Inuvik, N.W.T., through the Yukon.
Automotive journalists who were recruited to test drive the Smart fortwo coupes stopped in Whitehorse on Tuesday, and are now en route to Vancouver.
The tour through the notoriously rough Arctic highway was sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, the car company that sells Smart cars in Canada.
"The goal of the whole event, if you will, is to show that the Smart fortwo can tackle pretty much some of the harshest winter driving conditions imaginable in our country," Matt St-Pierre, a Montreal-based writer with, told CBC News on Wednesday.

Read more: CBC

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

TEST DRIVE: Kelowna to Whitehorse in a smart car

WHITEHORSE, Yukon: This is the story about the little car that could.
Press launches of new vehicles are the lifeblood of auto journalism. Normally, the car companies pick scenic locations and roads that put their new offerings in the best light.
Because it takes time to get to these locations, it means actual driving time can be as brief as two hours, hardly a lot of time on which to base lasting impressions.
So when Mercedes-Benz called up to propose a drive in the dead of winter over 15 days from Kelowna to the Artic Circle and finishing in Vancouver, I was intrigued.
The event would be split into three legs: Kelowna to Whitehorse, Whitehorse to Inuvik (68∞ 22' North) and back to Whitehorse and finally Whitehorse to Vancouver. I was assigned to Leg One with a total distance of 2,480 km.
It would mean four days of driving about 500-700 km a day with no cellphone, sketchy internet and no radio.
And to get there Mercedes wasn't using its selection of robust SUVs or even its sedans with 4Matic all-wheel-drive.
No, they wanted to do this in smart cars.

Read more here.

Russia’s richest oligarch wants to launch a city car

So you own the New Jersey Nets and you have a few billion in assets. And you’re Russian. What do you do next?
You start a line of $12,000 city cars designed to look sort of like the Smart car but more Slavic. The oligarch, Mikhail Prokhorov, is investing $141 million in the Yarovit Motors plant and will create a hybrid or electric vehicle.
From the images it seems you’ll be able to dock your phone into the car and use it as a read-out, something decidedly futuristic. However, considering the success thus far of Russian-made vehicles (the Lada comes to mind) I’d be worried about the generally salability of these things.
View Source: Crunch Gear