The hubbub surrounding the release of the redesigned Smart ForTwo has included the to-be-expected jokes about the car's tiny size, concerns about its perceived safety, and no small number of vocal defenders in the comment threads of our Smart posts. The pro-Smart crowd has touted the ForTwo's fuel economy and pointed out that the car's built-in safety cell has performed well in European crash tests. A few commenters pointed us in the direction of the Fifth Gear clip you see above.
In it, you'll see one of the official Mercedes-produced videos showing a Smart colliding with a larger MB sedan and looking pretty good afterward (though if you put a gun to our heads, we'd likely pick the Benz as the ride to be seated in for that scenario). That's just part of the vid's setup, however, as the main portion features Tiff Needlell showing us what happens when a remote-controlled Smart smashes into a concrete barrier at highway speed. It's pretty ugly to watch, though it's a fantastic demonstration of the minicar's ability to survive such a crash. Tiff even opens and closes the door afterward, which still latches properly.
Impressive? No doubt.
But the crash was so violent, and the deceleration so sudden, we shudder to think of what would have happened if the car had real passengers inside. In the end, it only serves as a reminder that no matter what car you're in and how safe it's been designed to be, you really don't want to be in any crash -- ever -- because real life isn't some controlled test.