25 years of smart - the cult car brand corrects past mistakes

It's hard to believe, but the idea of the smart fortwo goes back much further than just 25 years. In the late 1960s, Mr. Tomforde decided that a city car was the vehicle of the future. Already electric and with 2.5 meters, it slowly became the MCC (Micro Compact Car). At the same time, Mr. Hayek started his Swatch Car project and ultimately failed at Volkswagen. It is an exciting story how the two then finish building Tomforde's car and, to the regret of both, it finally rolls off the assembly line as a conventional combustion engine.

The smart fortwo


Everyone knows it, everyone knows immediately what kind of brand it is and there isn't anyone who doesn't have an opinion on this iconic city car. In 1998 came the first with an internal combustion engine. But part of Mr. Tomforde's vision was to also offer this city vehicle as a convertible, and that happened in 2000.

But the vision was only complete when smart tackled the subject of electric drives again in 2007. With technology from the prototypes from the 90s, around 100 cars were converted to electric drives and used to drive in a test fleet in London. Visually inconspicuous, technically a first step in the right direction. The next highlight of 2002:

The smart Crossblade


The smart Crossblade was different, it was exciting, it was a fun car and not sensible at all. That's what made it so exciting. As of 2002, a total of about 2,000 of these had been built. They left the Hambach plant as a normal convertible and were then rebuilt from head to toe.

The result was a BRABUS tuned convertible with no roof, no doors, and no windshield. The pure driving was what sold it and made it a dream car of mine and many others. Even today, the Crossblade has a sworn fan base, which regularly goes on tours. In 2003 it was supposed to be a little more suitable for everyday use:

The smart roadster


Somehow futuristic and still a smart, that was the Roasdter. It used the trition cell from the fortwo, was still a two-seater, but very flat. Unfortunately, it was not very popular at the time because it had too little engine power for such a car. Something that BRABUS fixed with a handful of cars. Without further ado, two 3-cylinder engines were combined together and the result was a smart roadster with V6 and biturbo.

Unfortunately, this rocket never went on sale and it is even more unfortunate that there is no longer a running and driving one. Will someone at some point tackle the topic and "simply" build one themselves? In any case, smart decided to build something more reasonable again, the forfour from 2004 was designed to expand the product range:

The original smart forfour


It was another idea in the right direction. You can only survive as a brand if you offer a larger range of vehicles. This is how the smart forfour came onto the market. A small car with four seats and the cool design that is typical of smart. Another further step into the future was the first smart SUV, which was based on it, the smart formore study from 2004:

The smart formore


A mystical car today, the next logical step back then. After smart's product range grew, it became clear that an SUV was also needed. At the time, these were still in their infancy, but someone at smart had the right idea.

Unfortunately, things turned out differently, as I report in a detailed article. Mercedes lost all courage and smart had to scrap all projects apart from the fortwo. The brand should only build fortwo and because the topic of SUVs was perhaps not so wrong, Mercedes presumably made the Mercedes GLA out of the formore. But they couldn't take the innovative power and variety of ideas away from smart. After restructuring, the forjeremy came out as a study in 2011:

The smart forjeremy


No smart fan can look at this car without thinking of the most unique smart boss the brand has ever had. Many people knew Ms. Winkler by her first name, Annette, and forjeremy was one of her favorite projects. But what was shown as a smart forjeremy study in 2011 should actually bebecome reality. The smart forjeremy went on sale in 2013 and was available with all possible drive trains.

Of course, Ms. Winkler's car was a fully electric BRABUS and she still drives it to this day. After the 3rd generation smart electric drive, it was clear to them what had to come next. The electric smart fortwo must become cheaper:

The smart EQ fortwo


The electric smart based on the 453 series started life as an ED (electric drive) in 2017, but was then renamed the EQ in 2018. Technically nothing changed. All vehicles with a 22 kW fast charger were automatically an EQ, even if they were ordered as an ED. So was my 2018 smart EQ.

With the smartEQfortwo, smart offered the electric two-seater at a lower price than ever before. Despite the now included battery, it was cheaper than its predecessor and still had a slightly longer range. Nevertheless, a restructuring of the company was on the way and Mrs. Winkler was about to receive her well-deserved pension. Unfortunately, things got quieter at smart after she left, before we come to the present and the smart #1:

The smart #1


As in its entire past, at smart you couldn't just sit down and do what you'd always done. In 2018, it was announced that the brand would be all-electric. The last petrol engines were sold with slogans like "Before Otto is just a name" after diesels had already not been sold since 2015.

The smart #1 took up what had previously been abandoned with the formore. A medium-sized SUV: agile, modern, fully electric and perfect as a first car.

Here is smart now after 25 years. Always changing, always trying new things. Still according to Hayek's motto with the Swatch car: "Highest quality, lowest price, provocation and fun in life" and that's how it will continue in the future. More mass-produced vehicles and then a completely new smart fortwo. I hope the new fortwo will be called #1/2 because it's half a smart #1. :saint:

And because it's simply part of the DNA at smart, the well-known smart times will be back after a 5-year break. A smart meeting somewhere in Europe, organized directly by smart. smart will be announcing more details on this shortly. <3

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