2009 SEMA Photo Gallery – Day 1

Wednesday November 4th, 2009 at 5:1111 PM
Posted by: thomas@microcarmag

The 2009 SEMA show started off with a lot of energy and optimism for the new year that is almost at our door. New ideas, renewed enthusiasm, and the penchant for going bigger while being eco-conscious all in the same breath. Below are a few photos that our friends from Microcarmag.com sent us. The full set can be found in the CarReview photo gallery.

More interesting tidbits and a lot more exciting stuff to follow in the next few days. Click on the thumbnail  below to view the fullsize image.

2009 SEMA smart carKen Block Monster Subaru2009 SEMA show car
Ken Block Monster Subaru

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First U.S. Incentives For Smart Car Now Available

Wednesday June 24th, 2009 at 8:66 AM
Posted by: tonyb

smart fortwo

To see just how normal the tiny Smart car has become in America, look no further than the news that the company is now offering purchase incentives to buyers of the cute little urban transport critters.

Not that the Smart ForTwo needs much help in the sales department. Word comes from the Penske Automotive Group, U.S. distributors of the Smart set an impressive 24,622 total sales of the diminutive city car in 2008. And yes, that’s the same Penske that basically owns the Borg Warner trophy, as well as recently buying Saturn from GM. Smart dealers are happy, saying they could have sold even more had they been available.

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Smart fortwo Edition Limited Three To Bow In Geneva

Wednesday March 4th, 2009 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: tonyb

smart fortwo

The smart fortwo (yeah, it’s all one word), the little tyke of a car that’s much beloved by the green set is getting its third special edition, and it will take its bow at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Called the smart fortwo Edition Limited Three is finished in Melon Metallic Green and powered by a 71HP engine is offered both coupe and cabriolet forms.

It also features micro hybrid drive (mhd) technology which is essentially an engine start/stop system that further improves fuel efficiency. The tiny mill shuts down when the driver brakes and when the vehicle’s speed falls below 8 km/h. It will then restart when as soon as the driver releases the brake pedal.

The fuel consumption to only 4.4 liters for every 100 kilometers the little guy travels, which is a 20% improvement from the non- start/stop equipped Smart. It also produces only 106 grams of emission per kilometer.

The Edition Limited Three also features a soil-colored interior; 15 inch alloy wheels in a sporty 6-spoke design, aluminum-effect “limited three” logos in the mirror triangle, automatic temperature control, instrument panel featuring dark brown leather-effect details, 3-spoke sports steering wheel with steering wheel gearshift, and for the coupe, a panoramic roof with sunblind.

The smart fortwo Edition Limited Three costs 15,470 Euros as a coupe and 18,510 Euros as a cabriolet.

Source: Paul Tan

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Smart Car Safety: How Does It Rate?

Thursday January 15th, 2009 at 7:11 AM
Posted by: goofshow

2009 Brabus smart fortwo 112Hey smart car—how smart are you? Since the late 90’s, thousands of smart cars found homes in European towns, villages, and sometimes apartments, before steering their way (smartly mind you) on to our roads. Lately, I’ve been seeing them pop up in abundance, navigating on our streets of San Francisco. Well, the U.S. roads are about to get even smarter next month when the Brabus-tuned version of its fortwo hits the roads in February 2009. Yes, microcar fanatics you’ve heard it hear first (except, of course if you’ve heard it elsewhere before this moment). Sure the car looks like a Fischer Price toy—but hey, who doesn’t love Fischer Price toys?

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Superheroes And Their Super Fuel Efficient Cars

Wednesday December 24th, 2008 at 1:1212 PM
Posted by: goofshow

With the era of gas-guzzling SUVs fazing out with the general public, surely the same would be said with our country’s superheroes and crime-fighters. Which fuel-efficient cars would make the ideal match with popular superheroes?

Smart Fortwo: The Thingsmart fortwo

There’s nothing dumb about smart cars. Once a sole fixture in quaint European villages, smart cars have been popping up all over our American roadways. This car would make the perfect vehicle for The Thing from the Fantastic Four. Trapped in his monstrous form, the smart fortwo would show off The Thing’s sensitive side as well as being fuel-efficient.

More super match ups after the jump
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The Performance Tuner Market Gets To The Smart Car

Monday December 1st, 2008 at 9:1212 AM
Posted by: tonyb

smart car fortwoSeems like the aftermarket/performance tuning/import scene has finally gotten around The Smart Car, and I say it’s about time.

Not everybody, like the folks at TreeHugger and other greenies, agree with me, but over all, I think this is a good thing on a number of levels.

First off, it’s not like this is some joke. The Smart is a pretty viable car to start with. It’s not like they’re trying to make some sort of eco-car that’s barely able to hit 30 MPH somehow cooler. And since it’s German, a bunch of German tuner firms usually assorted with bigger, faster cars are the first to jump in. People like Brabus and Lorinser, guys that usually do laughably enjoyable things with Mercs and BMWs.

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Smart ForTwo and VW Diesels Are Among Top-10 Most Fuel Efficient Vehicles

Thursday October 16th, 2008 at 11:1010 AM
Posted by: Derek

Brabus smart fortwoVW Jetta TDI

The EPA and Energy Department issued the 2009 fuel economy guide.

The overall fuel economy leader is no surprise. It’s the Toyota Prius, rated at 48 mpg in the city and 45 on the highway.

The new additions to the top 10 list this year are the Smart ForTwo convertible and coupe and Volkswagen Jetta diesels. (Click on the link to read more about the Jetta TDI).

The Jetta diesels were not in the market last year because they did not meet tighter clean air rules. They are back this year with improved emissions controls. The Jetta sedan and Sportwagen with manual transmissions are in seventh place with ratings of 30 mpg city and 41 mpg highway. In September a couple from Australia set a new world record of 58.82 mpg in a Jetta TDI sedan traversing the 48 continental states.

Revised testing and calculation methods meant almost all the vehicles got lower ratings than before. The methodology was changed to make ratings more closely reflect real-world driving.

Here is the top 10 list for 2009:

1. Toyota Prius (hybrid) — 48/45
2. Honda Civic Hybrid — 40/45
3. Nissan Altima Hybrid — 35/33
4. Ford Escape Hybrid FWD; Mazda Tribute Hybrid 2WD; Mercury Mariner Hybrid FWD — 34/31
5. Smart ForTwo convertible; Smart ForTwo coupe — 33/41
6. Toyota Camry Hybrid — 33/34
7. Volkswagen Jetta (manual, diesel); Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen (manual, diesel) — 30/41
8. Volkswagen Jetta (automatic, diesel); Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen (automatic, diesel) — 29/40
9. Toyota Yaris (manual) — 29/36
10. Toyota Yaris (automatic) — 29/35

The complete fuel economy guide can be found at www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm and is organized by year.

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Road Trip from Los Angeles to Detroit

Wednesday February 6th, 2008 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: Derek

smart and Mercedes-Benz demonstrate high environmental friendliness in a real-world test

Road Trip from Los Angeles to Detroit

Detroit – In an unusual long distance test the smart fortwo and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class demonstrated their top position among the most climate-friendly cars. On a trip from Los Angeles via Chicago to the Detroit Auto Show 2008 they demonstrated outstanding fuel-saving qualities in everyday real-world conditions. On the 4,400 kilometre route the smart fortwo mhd recorded an average consumption of just 4.8 litres per hundred kilometres. The two smart fortwo cdis were satisfied with 3.9 litres, and even the business saloon E 320 BLUETEC (US version) consumed an average of just 5.8 l/100 km.

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smart fortwo passion – Seriously, I don't get it

Wednesday August 29th, 2007 at 3:88 PM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

by Kurt Gensheimer

kurt inside the smart fortwo


  • “Interesting” design
  • High smug factor – if that’s what you’re into
  • More compact than a crushed Geo Metro
  • Gets more looks than a Ferrari
  • Safer than you think
  • Spacious interior makes you forget you’re in an 8 foot box


  • “Interesting” design
  • High smug factor
  • 40 mpg ain’t great for a 1600 lb car
  • Paltry, wheezing engine
  • Geriatric transmission
  • High price tag for what it is
  • Cargo space for a single…uh…nevermind

Verdict: I don’t get it.

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