Product analysis: the basic Smart
The basic smartTM is aimed at style-conscious people who want a small car that is:
- cheap to buy and run
- has minimum impact on the environment.
- Engine - 599cc, turbo-charged with fuel injection. There are three in-line cylinders, with two valves and two spark plugs per cylinder.
- Transmission - six gears and reverse; clutch is single dry-plate with electronic actuation.
- Brakes - disks in front, rums in rear, with anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic braking force distribution (EBD).
- Size - 2500mm long, 1515mm wide, 1549mm high. The wheel base is 1812mm. It has room for two passengers, plus luggage space of 150 litres (to the window line) or 260 litres (to the roof). Its turning circle is 8.7m.
- Weight - the gross vehicle weight is 950kg (payload 290kg).
- Top speed - 135km/h.
- Fuel tank - 22 litres.
- Fuel consumption - urban 16km/l; outside town 23 km/l.
- Carbon dioxide emissions - 120gm/km.
The smart is small and ideal for use in towns.
The body shell is made from steel. The body panels are made from Zenoy, a PBT PC alloy that is impact resistant and coloured the whole way through (this means that a slight scratch does not show up). However, if there is a serious bang, the panel can be replaced and the broken part recycled. The lights are made from PC. The safety belts and air bags are made from PA. The interior trim, seats, upholstery, dashboard, fuel systems, other reservoirs and many under-the-bonnet components are also made from plastics. The steel body is sprayed with powder paints that do not contain harmful substances. This removes the need for solvents, emissions, paint sludge and waste water.
The body panels and most of the plastic components are injection moulded. The components of the steel frame are pressed and welded together.
To ensure that it is safe, the basic smartTM has:
- a TRIDION steel safety shell
- front and rear crash elements and a crash management system
- side indicators
- ABS and EBD braking systems
- a safety steering column
- full-sized airbags
- integral safety seats with belt guides
- self-tensioning safety belts with belt force limiters
- a base for child seat brackets
- a child seat recognition system, which deactivates the passenger airbag when used with a child seat.
The designers built the smartTM around the user. They tried to address every aspect of ergonomics, including:
- ease of driving, with excellent visibility and control
- the seat and dashboard design
- control of the internal environment
- the position of lights and light controls
- access to the luggage storage
- audio equipment
- a warning buzzer if lights are left on
- storage in the car
- windscreen-wiper control.
Designers from Swatch (the Swiss watch company) were involved in the design of the smart. As a result, the overall visual concept is stylish and contemporary. The cars come in innovative colours. Some of the trims are interchangeable, so that they can be co-ordinated with the driver's clothes.