RE: Smart Car

RE: Smart Car

Sunday 9th December 2001

Smart Car

Not so Smart?


Author
Discussion

v12 inside

Original Poster:

52 posts

234 months

Sunday 9th December 2001
quotequote all
well, i thought for moments that this site was dedicated to cars, but it doesn t looks so


>> 4ever roaring

jmorgan

36,010 posts

248 months

Sunday 9th December 2001
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I can't wait for the estate version.

pikey

7,669 posts

248 months

Sunday 9th December 2001
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Excellent!

r-bin

135 posts

240 months

Sunday 9th December 2001
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yez yez very nice..... still i wouldnt feel safe in it......

hertsbiker

6,267 posts

235 months

Sunday 9th December 2001
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hi !
well, you expected a reply from me, didn't ya?

Good write up in a lot of ways, even pointing out the absolutely hopeless auto box, and harsh suspension...

But, it missed the point by a long way with the steering & manual mode.

My 'standard issue' Smart does 0-60 in 13 seconds, which may not be great shakes by Tiv standards, but pretty good for 600cc.

Manual mode is actually very good, and puts you in the correct gear when you need it - as opposed to the WRONG gear that AUTO always seems to end up in.

Don't get what matey says about steering - it has NO ASSISTANCE !! but is very light, and lets you go lock to lock when stationary for easy parking.

The suspension is very harsh to stop the thing tipping over, fair enough.

It also has many lots of electronics to stabilise and control. Eg, wheelspin control + lateral "G" sensor.

The spin control is great in winter, and the car can climb snow covered roads that some 4x4's can't cope with.

The G sensor is a bloody pain, and prevents dough-nuts. It also keeps you shiney side up, and is not a limit to fast driving - it has saved me from wrecking the car on a few occasions.

Right, as you may have guessed, my one ain't standard.

Firstly, junk the standard wheels & tyres, and fit some proper ones with some decent offset. Then go to 195's at the rear in place of the 175's, and 175's at the front in place of the 145's.

Next, shorten the wastegate actuator, fit k&n, remove 12 inches of intake tract - and go to around 65bhp.

Again, no big deal, but it only weighs 720kg....

If you take it at face value, it's a sensible, economical city car. I do not claim it is in any way a sports car, but it is rather FUN ! - and it is very very quick in the right gear.

Oh, and for 300 quid, it can be upgraded to 100bhp, which is shockingly fast.

The G sensor can be deactivated with 10 minutes work - simply rotate the unit through 90 degrees, and reattach.

I wish I could have written the article, 'cos at 18,000 miles, I reckon I know more about it than a magazine writer.



hertsbiker

6,267 posts

235 months

Sunday 9th December 2001
quotequote all
quote:

yez yez very nice..... still i wouldnt feel safe in it......



heh heh. Try hitting one with your sports car, and see which one ends up looking 3ft shorter, and which one looks almost the same.

Merc did some crash tests, and the Smart is significantly tougher than it looks. eg, at 40mph, it "shrinks" about 6 inches.

Also has airbags & seatbelt tensioners.

Ooops, sorry, I betray my annorak tendancies here !!!

fanjules

30 posts

239 months

Sunday 9th December 2001
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apparantly brabus do various aftermarket tweaks, but the one worth going for is the wider front tyres - i *think* reasonably wide ones were fitted originally but were later replaced by skinnier ones instead resulting in dull dull dull understeer.

stirling moss's smart was kitted out accordingly anyway

there are also the performance mods to get it a little more peaky, though it's such a funky car it's best not going over the top and just go as far as sorting out the problems with it

v12 inside

Original Poster:

52 posts

234 months

Sunday 9th December 2001
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Jeez! Hertsbiker, do you sell Smarts???


>> 4ever roaring

hertsbiker

6,267 posts

235 months

Sunday 9th December 2001
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nah ! course not ! I just wanted a car that costs sod all to run, so I can feed my bike addiction. It was after a while that I found it was actually one of the most entertaining cars I have ever driven.

By the way, the thing about fat front tyres on Smarts... is that they promote MASSIVE oversteer on the limit. The skinny tyres are meant to understeer, because MOST of the people that buy these cars are expecting FWD handling, and get a shock when the RWD-rear engine handling catches them out!!


Paul V

4,489 posts

241 months

Monday 10th December 2001
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A friend has a convertible one, it s fun but I m not sure I d own one, really liked them when they first came out, apparently you can get them chipped to improve gear change times. The Brabus one looked very nice, quick as well.

paulg

31 posts

248 months

Monday 10th December 2001
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I hired one of these out for a few days in Cannes when I was working there and I found it to be superb fun and you can park the bloody thing ANYWHERE!! If I had to get rid of my Tuscan I reckon a Smart Car would be on the cards.....well maybe not but it would be tempting...almost as much fun in a kind of "slow" way.

rthierry

684 posts

245 months

Monday 10th December 2001
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Well, must admit I love my Smart ! Being a Londoner I know it makes sense... One of the most fascinating feature of the Smart is the 'nice guy' effect. People look at you and smile - even in London! Surely, if you drive such a cute little car you must be a cool guy... Believe it or not, I even had people knocking at my window asking whether I would mind them taking pictures - OK they were Americans, but still rather a compelling evidence. I even drove to Cornwall for a week end - that was before I'd bought the Chimaera - no worries. A steady 80mph on the motorways, don't even need to think about the plods. No really I love my Smart.... a greeat complement to the Chim.

Roms
Antigua Blue Chimaera 450
MCC Smart Passion Grey with Bungee Red interior ;o)

Graham

16,345 posts

248 months

Monday 10th December 2001
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I thought you can chip the gearbox to speed it up abit as well?

suec

23 posts

247 months

Monday 10th December 2001
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I agree, Smarts are coooool - would love one. We've got a Tuscan and a VW Polo - both of which have excellent luggage carrying capacity, so the Smart loses out on that front - but in every other way they're just wonderful. HertsBiker - was it you driving a black Smart from St Albans towards Redbourn last weekend. Whoever it was - wow that little car could shift. We were in the Tuscan and we overtook the Smart - eventually!!!! Big smiles and amazement all round.

hertsbiker

6,267 posts

235 months

Monday 10th December 2001
quotequote all
errr, it IS a black one, as it happens! And I do drive all over the place - when your MPG is that good, you don't mind driving round a lot. St Albans, could well have been there, I know I went to Stevenage, but not sure..

Did it have a tubular metal rear bumper? if so, then it was me ! I have been known to abuse the traction control a bit.

Well, it's more fun than the review that matey gave it !

Auto option is still poor though, but it's one of these things you can work round with the rev counter & manual shift. Just like a normal car in that respect.

Some of the Smart club boys are fanatical - I'm regarded as a bit of a cynic, because I try and keep them inline a bit. You know what I mean, the ones that reckon they race Scoobies & such like !!!


hoganscrogan

702 posts

248 months

Monday 10th December 2001
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Great cars - had a lot of fun in 'both' of mine. Tough too.....

NOTE: See link and see why I had two (and also to confirm hertbikers comments about wide front tyres promoting oversteer!!!)

http://homepage.mac.com/croggymassive/.Pictures/Smart1.JPG
http://homepage.mac.com/croggymassive/PhotoAlbum.html

hertsbiker

6,267 posts

235 months

Monday 10th December 2001
quotequote all
Interesting piccies.. glad to hear your were ok. Yep, tough little car, it looks like it held together well. Were those 195's I can see on the front? don't look like standard issue 175's..?

Was it chipped by any chance, if so, what upgrade?

C

hoganscrogan

702 posts

248 months

Monday 10th December 2001
quotequote all
Had 175's on the front rather than 135's and 195's on the rear - not chipped or anything -

Damp slippy surface and too fast - never been in anything that can swop ends so fast!!

PetrolTed

34,327 posts

267 months

Monday 10th December 2001
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Ooooh nooo, I'll have to create a Smart forum next. Or perhaps not.

hertsbiker

6,267 posts

235 months

Monday 10th December 2001
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Sorry Ted.

These things have a fanatical following, I think I tried to warn you about it..!

C