• Nov 27th 2006 at 7:58PM
  • 6
TH!NK fast! Remember those tiny electric cars Ford was showing off around the time the world was caught in the throes of Y2K? They were tiny matte-finished Norwegian runabouts that promised 50 miles of range and a top speed of 55 mph? TH!NK was Ford's electric car answer to the Smart car. Fifty prototypes had been tested for two years in Norway, and another 40 cars were used as part of the Bay Area Station Car Program in San Francisco in 1995. Ford had planned to build about 1,500 of the EVs starting in 2000.

Well that plan went down the toilet when Ford dropped TH!NK in a cost-cutting move. But there is some good news to report for those who might like to see a TH!NK in their driveway. After languishing since then, the TH!NK is set to ride again. The Norwegian team responsible for the original model has gone back to the drawing board, boosting range by 60% and totally refreshing the rust and dent proof thermoplastic exterior. In the hopes of getting the project completed and the new model on the road by as early as next year, the company is looking for workers in almost every position, "from sales director and chief technical officer to factory manager and head of product development."

If all goes according to plan, production will start in Norway next year. Although pricing and distribution haven't been discussed, we do know that the new TH!NK will sport standard anti-lock brakes, power steering, electric windows, and central locking. Woo hoo.

[Source: The Car Connection]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Now this is the kinda thinking I would like to see the big 2.5 execute.Simple cheap, transportation.
      • 8 Years Ago
      People shouldn't link Ford to Th!nk, because Ford didn't do much with the company but used it as a Public Relations device.

      When California had a mandate for zero-emission vehicles, Ford only bought Th!nk brand as an insurance plan, in case the lawsuits against CA didn't pan out. Soon after Ford and other companies won the case, Ford quickly sold the Th!nk brand.

      I like the new Th!nk City, but I highly doubt it will do well in the US.

      First of all, this car makes a Honda Fit looks like an SUV. If US is really ready for small 2-seaters like Th!nk City, then likes of Honda Insight, Toyota MR2, or GM's Fiero would not have gone extincted.

      Second, plastic shell for a car just doesn't click with the US market. It didn't work with the Fiero, nor Saturns. The original Th!nk brand of cars have plastic shell like the motorized toy Hummer that a 4-year-old would drive. It doesn't matter if a car is safe or not, if it doesn't LOOK safe, Americans just won't buy it.

      Lastly, that big door-like window in the back, which the Volvo C30 may have ripped from Th!nk, is probably a big turn-off for many. I wish it the best of luck in the European market, but Th!nk will never make it here in the US.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If commuters continue to ride alone to work in their 14mpg Detriot iron a small car like Think is essential. Read the history on post WW2 Germany about small cars. Could a modern Messerschmit KR500 be the answer?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hmmm, these are really cool little cars! From the official site (http://www.think.no/) the images look neat. I would like to see this car in person. Too bad the USA will never see it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford dropped TH!NK in favor of 1.5 million trucks, making 14 mpg, each year. It was a money-making move for the short-term, but it's killing Ford now. With a new interest in micro-cars here in North America, there could be potential for these vehicles to make it in showrooms...at least, the gasoline-powered ones. Hammacher-Schlemmer was selling a micro-EV for $120,000.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I remember the TH!NK well. The former Big 3 were given billions of taxpayer dollars as part of the monumental NextGen car project to develop an 80mpg family sedan by year 2000. Chysler came out with the Intrepid, GM with the EV1, and Ford with the TH!NK and electric Ranger trucks. They produced just enough to keep politicians happy, but then funneled the rest into SUVs and CEOs. But most Americans didn't notice because the stock market was roaring and gas was cheap. After GM took back and crushed the leased EV1s, citing a lack of consumer interest, Ford tried to do the same with the TH!NK, but created an international controversial because there was still a 2 year long waiting list of people who never got their cars. It was an international standoff because Ford also failed to fulfil it's obligations to the Norwegian government.
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