Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Smart Fortwo: a viable 2nd car?

In and earlier post I looked at the tiny Smart Fortwo car. I said it reminded me of a glorified golf cart. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say glorified lawn mower, without the blades. It takes 20 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph. It only has 40 horse power. Not exactly my first choice for driving on the freeway. Yet for driving around town, it might be fine. It gets 60 mpg!

Clearly it would not be an ideal car for everyone... but what about two-car families? Would this car be a good second car? You could have a regular sized car for family outings, large shopping trips, etc. Then you could have this car, which might be fine for one person commuting to work, or for a quick trip to the store for a gallon of milk, or a visit to the Dentist, etc.

A lot of people have concerns about safety with this car because it's so small. Here is a crash test video, where the car hits a concrete wall at 70 mph:

The manufacturer claims that the frame of the car that protects the passenger area is like the hard shell of a nut; difficult to crack.

It's a terrible crash in the video, with massive damage, yet the passenger area was very protected. No human would be likely to survive a 70 mph crash into solid concrete in any vehicle, but the test is an impressive demonstration of the strength of the Smart Car frame. See the video for more details of the Smart car's safety design features. The video play time is 5 minutes and 39 seconds.

So, will this be YOUR second car? ;-)

UPDATE 06-26-07:

Here's a link to a blog devoted the introduction of the American Smart Fortwo:

smart fortwo blog

Check it out for more info and links. It has a forum, too.


RPM said...

Not to be disagreeable, as the smart certainly is small, but, it goes 0-60 in 13 seconds, not 20, and it has 72 HP, not 40.

Chas said...

Thanks for the input, Rob.

I was quoting the figures they gave in the video. I believe there has been more than one version of this car, so perhaps the car in the video is an older version?

A newer version is due to be released in the US in 2008. It will be interesting to see what it has to offer.

hd said...

Note, the video shown is of the 1st generation smart fortwo.
My blog, covers the new 2nd generation "451" model coming to the USA.

There are some changes from the old to the new.

I think they would make an ideal grocery getter. I don't know about trips to Lowes or Costco but for everyday run-about, they're perfect and economical.

Chas said...

Thanks Fortwochat, that does explain things. I'll put a link to your blog as a reference.