Even as a city dweller, the Smart ForTwo has never been appealing to me. Appalling is too strong, but goofy and irrelevant are not. And like most American car shoppers, I buy more car than I actually need most of the time in order to get more of what I want. Niche vehicles have a rough road here, even as second cars in the family. Related: Electric Cars Gain Popularity as Americans Run Low on Excuses Thus, it's no surprise that parent company Daimler gets rich selling Mercedes-Benz luxury sedans and SUVs in the U.S. but has hit potholes with its little Smart ForTwo, a special-purpose microcar for congested megacities — or not so much a car, even, as a safer and more comfortable all-weather golf cart. Part of that struggle also has been self-inflicted. The gasoline-powertrain Smart ForTwo was a terrible car that improved to just so-so with a 2016 redo. Plus, its 33-mpg city gas mileage rating was less-than-eye-popping economy. Not much to love, even for a city slicker … [Read more...] about 7 Ways the 2018 Electric Smart ForTwo Is Not Dumb
Smart fortwo electric drive coupe
Taking Your Half out of the Middle The tiny Smart, produced by Mercedes-Benz and sold in selected dealerships, is now offered exclusively as an electric vehicle in the U.S. This slightly larger and much improved second-generation Smart Fortwo ED, introduced a couple of years ago, presents a unique choice in the growing world of EVs. The Cremsicle electric car There’s something of an optical illusion going on with the Smart. It looks like a ridiculously stubby egg, but it doesn’t feel small on the inside. Although the two-seat car may stretch just under nine feet nose-to-tail, it’s a reasonable 65.6 inches wide and stands a generous 61.2 inches tall. There’s just not much more than a passenger compartment to it. The electric Smart wears its clever Electric Drive (ED) logo proudly on its colorful side. The Tridion safety cell in my car was painted a lava orange metallic while the rest of the body wore a contrasting white—a 50/50 ice cream bar in metal. … [Read more...] about Road Test: 2018 Smart Fortwo ED Cabrio
In a report by Automotive News Europe, Daimler AG has made the decision to sell its 4% stake in Tesla Motors, an electric car maker from America. The company bought into Tesla in 2009 to gain access to the latest battery technology. Industry observers are indicating that both companies now saw each other as potential rivals as the electric car market begins to heat up. “There is a difference between working together and partnership. In our view the ties between the two companies have loosened over time,” states analysts at ISI Research. In an official statement issued by Daimler, the company says that cooperation deals are still active, stating that shareholding was not required for both companies to continue working together. Tesla has yet to comment on the sale and future projects between itself and Daimler. Tesla Motors currently provide the technology required by Daimler to manufacture electric variants of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and Smart ForTwo. Back in 2009, … [Read more...] about Daimler sells remaining 4% stake in Tesla Motors
With its estimated 173-horsepower, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe ‘Smartacus’ packs about four-times the ponies of a stock ForTwo. Let’s see if this wild custom’s price is also a factor too high. As I noted in the comments on last Friday’s $15,250 2003 Mustang Mach 1, I’ve owned two of Ford’s ponies over the years. Tone of them was good, and one was bad. With that history, you might find it strange that my favorite song by The Handsome Family is not Pony, but Arlene. Go figure. You would likely not find it odd that Friday’s Mach 1 fell in a substantial 65-percent Crack Pie loss. After all, you were part of what made that happen. The SN-95 just doesn’t engender all that much love, and now maybe the seller will be humming a different tune. Speaking of tune, that’s a word that has been usurped from the music industry for use by those of us who like to make sure our cars are running in tip-top shape. In fact, it used to be … [Read more...] about At $23,500, Could This Hayabusa-Powered 2002 Smart ForTwo Be For You?
2017 Toyota Prius Prime and 2017 Chevrolet Volt with Green Car Reports editor John VoelckerEnlarge PhotoThe Chevy Volt won its umpteenth monthly plug-in sales title in Canada last month, but soaring sales of other models were the big story in the Canuck electric vehicle market—which may have reached 1.75 percent of the market in March. The Volt tallied 555 March sales, Canada’s second-best single-month total for any model, second only to the 582 it managed last November. This would have offered an enormous margin of victory, but Toyota sold 500 Prius Primes, the third-best single-month sales total. Toyota also sold 131 “regular” Prius liftbacks, meaning the plug-in made up almost 80 percent of total Prius hybrid sales. DON'T MISS: U.S. plug-in electric car sales for March: Prius Prime romps Not far behind them, Nissan sold 423 second-generation 2018 Leafs. That was not only Canada’s seventh-best single-month plug-in sales total, but also more than double … [Read more...] about Plug-in electric car sales in Canada, March 2018: Prius Prime rivals Volt