Despite a recent setback in the UK, Daimler's carsharing company Car2go remains in expansion mode. The company is currently studying the scene in China (and other countries) to see where the next batch of blue-and-white Smart Fortwo cars will land.
In the sixteen years since Daimler first introduced the Smart car, the micro city car market has grown significantly to the extent that the urban-oriented brand doesn't just have more competition to contend with these days than it did in the late 90s; for the first time it has real competition on its hands altogether. In other words, while the Smart Fortwo once had the micro city car market almost entirely to itself, new rivals have emerged to challenge its dominance.
The 2016 Smart Fortwo and Forfour are at the 2014 Paris Motor Show showing off their brand new looks for their latest generations, and the company hopes that an extensive list of changes can give the brand a much-needed boost.
The Dead Milkmen will be very displeased. Stephen Grinwis has decided to explain to Clean Technica why he sold his Chevrolet Camaro for – get this – a Smart ED electric vehicle. We can already hear the Milkmen, performers of the 1985 punk masterpiece Bitchin' Camaro, crying in their Stoney's Extra Stout.
For Smart, the future is now, or at least this fall. That's when the next-generation versions of Daimler's Smart line of compact vehicles, which were unveiled earlier this month, reach European showrooms, Automotive News says. They might be the first of a broader range that would follow them to stores shortly thereafter.
By now AMG has produced versions of just about everything Mercedes makes, right down to the A-Class, CLA and GLA. But while even the smallest of Benzes have fallen under Affalterbach's knife, Daimler's performance division steers clear of the Smart brand and its products. For that, the German automaker collaborates with another legendary Silver Star tuner.
Smart is just getting ready to launch its new Fortwo and Forfour minicars, riding on a completely different platform, and the diminutive brand wants to show that its latest creations can stand up to some serious abuse. For such a tiny car, the crashworthiness of the Smarts is a legitimate concern when taking on larger, heavier vehicles. To prove their survivability, the company filmed a head-on collision pitting the latest Fortwo against a Mercedes-Benz S-Class weighing more than twice as much.
Smart will not make another generation of the Roadster, but a Smart SUV might be in the cards. According to Smart's CEO, Annette Winkler, "The Roadster isn't a profitable business case. Everybody is keen on the car, but nobody wants to pay the bill." What Car? states that Smart is likely planning a baby SUV to take on the Nissan Juke and its ilk. But for the immediate future, Winkler says Smart "must focus on how we can maximize potential of the Fortwo and Forfour. That is strategy number one."
Meet the 2016 Smart Fortwo and Forfour, a new pair of hatchbacks that Daimler hopes will revive the struggling Smart brand. We aren't expecting to see the Forfour here in the US market, although the smaller Fortwo should eventually hit our shores in the future.
Smart is slated to debut both the next-generation Fortwo and the all-new Forfour in Berlin tomorrow evening, with the struggling city car manufacturer making the lofty claim that the new models will be "the best city cars in the world."
We are right on the precipice of the launch on an all-new generation of the Smart Fortwo in July. While the current one isn't exactly loved by US reviewers, the latest model rides on a fresh platform shared with the Renault Twingo in Europe. The company seems to be aiming for wider success this time with both two- and four-door versions on the way. In two new videos, the automaker cheekily shows us exactly what not to expect from its upcoming vehicle with a promo for its biggest city car ever.
Iceland's EV charging network is expanding by 200 units. A subsidiary of Northern Lights Energy called EVEN is providing and installing the rapid chargers, which it hopes to have installed by the end of the year. EVEN's Gísli Gíslasson says, "We couldn't wait for the government and decided to do our part in this." Iceland's government hopes to have 10 percent of the cars on its road powered by sustainable fuels by 2020. Read more at Iceland Review.
And Just Look At What You Can Get With Your BMW i8
Apparently, Chevrolet Volt battery covers make suitable homes for bats. As part of an Eagle Scout project, Matthew Netherland created 30 bat houses out of scrapped Volt battery covers donated by Chevy. 22 of the bat houses will be set up near hydroelectric dams in Michigan. Each bat house will accommodate 100 bats, and divert the scrapped materials from the landfill. The battery covers also make great nesting boxes for wood ducks, which General Motors has previously set up at its Milford, Michig
Smart has tried its darnedest to diversify. It introduced the Smart Roadster in 2003 and the Forfour in 2004. It even did the Crossblade speedster in 2002. But each of those has fallen by the wayside, leaving the Fortwo as its only product. But that's all about to change.
A French marketing firm with the impenetrable name of Street Glory Mappers is literally turning cars into billboards. Of course, we've all seen vehicles painted up for promotional use, but this company is taking that concept even further by including video.
Mercedes-Benz has been profiting mightily from compact cars recently. Its Kecskemét, Hungary, factory added a third shift to keep up with demand, and company's US arm called the CLA-Class, its "best launch in 20 years." However, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche says the Mercedes brand won't be getting any smaller, subcompact models; they will be reserved for the Smart brand.
The Beach Boys typified the Southern California lifestyle by famously singing about hot rods, drag races and convertibles (not to mention surfer girls). So we never would've guessed that their hometown would help host a carsharing service featuring squat two-seaters. But times have changed.
Smart is just about ready to launch the all-new generations of the Fortwo and Forfour. It might be hard to get excited for a car with such a mixed reputation, but the company has high expectations for the updated models. In a new video, Smart teases some nearly final prototypes during arctic testing in Sweden.
He's not actually a Smart ForTwo owner – he's a guy who built a custom chassis with a Chevrolet big block at the front that can fit a ForTwo body. And yes, there's almost nothing under that diminutive skin except a tube frame, an engine and a seat – the driver's helmet can't be more than a few hairs away from the back glass.
Among the ten commandments of the car guy, near the top is "Thou shalt not mess with thy neighbor's vehicle, regardless of how awful it may be." That said, we can't help but giggle every time we look at the image above.
When in Rome, folks can start using Daimler's Car2go car-sharing service. The Mercedes-Benz parent says its car-sharing fleet of Smart Fortwo two-seaters will be available in the Italian capital starting mid-March. Upon the debut, about 300 cars will be available, with another 200 added by April. Lessons in Italian driving gestures will not be included.