Smart is the automobile arm of umbrella company Daimler AG. The German company has been producing microcars with plants in Böblingen, Germany and Hambach, France. They are the ones behind the Smart Roadster and the Smart ForTwo. For some time now, the microcar company has been under the radar. However, word is that the microcar company is planning to debut its new look for the model that would replace the latest edition of the Smart Roadster.
The ForSpeed Concept that was debuted at the Geneva Motor Show last March became an inspiration Smart’s new microcar. Some experts say that the new design resembles a white ladybug however, the sleeker design and shadowline trim look promising.
However, the Smart buzz isn’t just about the replacement for the Smart Roadster. According to an inside scoop, 4×4 model that will directly compete with the MINI Countryman will also be unveiled. Now, if the rumors are true, then the 4×4 model will probably by based on the design platform of the Mercedes-Benz’s new B-Class and would be Smart’s largest model to date.
There’s also rumor that Smart might work with Renault-Nissan soon. If the rumors are true and the partnership prevails, then the succeeding models of the ForTwo and the Roadster might carry the Renault Twingo platform. Given that, it might pose some conflicts if the 4×4 will directly compete with MINI Countryman. Nothing’s official yet so we just have to wait to see how things will progress for the Smar 4×4 model and the new Smart Roadster replacement.
Lorinser, a company focused on boosting the engine power and tweaking the exterior of OEM vehicles, has recently turned their attention to the Smart Fortwo making it more efficient and giving it some all-electric function through a plug in conversion.
During the Essen Motor Show, Lorinser rolled out the Smart Fortwo car fitted with the Easybrid conversion. The Easybrid is not exclusively designed to be coupled with the Fortwo but practically to small vehicles with rear drum brakes.
The Easybrid setip consists of a regenerative braking technology, a 30kilowatt electric motor, and lithium ion battery pack. The battery pack is conveniently stored under the car or in the space for the spare tire. The Easybrid practically converts a gasoline or diesel engine car into plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Lorinser estimates the Easybrid to propel the car all electric for around 30 kilometers. The driver though can opt to go all electric, on fuel, or combined. The Smart Fortwo is just the first vehicle to be fitted with the Easybrid but in the future cars like the Fiat 500, Renault Twingo, and VW Polo may offer it as an option.
The company is also looking into a scheme where end users can lease their batteries from energy suppliers through a mobile phone platform. This setup will give way to cheaper conversion costs seen at around 5,000 euros. They are also hoping for government incentives to chop the prices more.
The testing of the system will be through middle of next year with the roll out for market consumption after.