smart Car – Laguna Niguel, CA
The electric smart car models are akin to the smart Fortwo model lineup, but are more eco-friendly, thanks to the electric motor that powers them, which reduces harmful emissions. The smart Fortwo model lineup is already green as a gas-powered vehicle, so it might seem impossible to make it any greener. It might produce harmful emissions like all other gas-powered vehicles, but it’s small (which means less material used to build it) and has exceptional fuel economy (which means less fossil fuels used). Even with this exceptional fuel economy and low-horsepower engine, this little car is able to seriously move, and both gas and electric models have peppy acceleration.
But before we look at some of the models, it’s important to take a brief look at what it means to be smart.
Max. Highway (Gas)
What it Means to be smart
smart Automobile is a division of Daimler AG, which is also the maker of Mercedes-Benz, that manufactures and markets microcars like the smart Fortwo and smart Forfour. The official trademarked name is actually stylized as “smart,” with all lowercase letters. It was founded in 1994, and the name is inspired by its early studies with Swatch and Mercedes. Hence, smart: Swatch Mercedes ART. Although the company was founded in 1994, the design concept for these microcars actually began at Mercedes in the early 1970s and late 1980s, and was associated with Swatch.
Since it was the CEO of SMH (maker of Swatch watches) who came up with the idea of the Fortwo, he used the same type of manufacturing and personalization features that helped popularize the famous watch brand. The first model was launched in 1998, after years of designing and testing. The original two-seater microcar was the Fortwo, which remains the brand’s flagship vehicle to this day.
Just looking at the vehicle, it’s clear to see it was invented for a more fun and eco-friendly way to travel through cities. It’s small and maneuverable size makes the Fortwo use less gas, and allows it to effortlessly maneuver through the cities. In 2009, the electric model was released, and proved to be a popular, environmentally-friendly vehicle. In 2016, smart vehicles are now engineered with Mercedes-Benz, and the smart vehicles are sold through Mercedes-Benz dealers.
It’s city-friendly maneuverability, strong fuel economy, and fun and distinctive design hasn’t changed over the years. The 2016 smart Fortwo is still a small two-seat car that’s meant to be a fun and smart alternative for those who commute regularly through the city. The 2016 Fortwos have received a full redesign, with new styling, more space, and more power. The electric models are unchanged from 2015, however.
The Fortwo Pure is the starting trim level in the lineup, and therefore kicks off the basic items for this lineup, such as: 15-inch steel wheels, LED daytime running lights, cruise control, and automatic climate control. It also has a 898cc three-cylinder turbocharged engine that’s mounted under the trunk, and found in all gas-powered Fortwo models.
This engine is able to produce 89 horsepower and 100 lb.-ft. of torque, which might seem like a negligible amount when compared to some of the other subcompact and compact engines out there. But, those vehicles aren’t nearly as small, which is why it has a best-in-class turning radius of 22.8 ft. Since it’s also relatively light (around 2,000 pounds) this engine provides plenty of power. Actually, the turbocharging technology gives it enough kick to shave off four seconds from it’s predecessor’s 0-60 mph time. Now, it can hit 0-60 mph in just 10.1 seconds, which is fast for a subcompact car in general. It gets 34 mpg city and 39 mpg highway with an automatic transmission, and slightly less from a manual.
As far as basic safety goes on the Pure, it has an ESP® (Electronic Stability Program) with hill-start assist, eight standard airbags, alarm system, crosswind assist, and an anti-lock braking system. Also standard is an app that iOS and Android users can download for free called Cross Connect. This app controls phone, audio, internet streaming radio, vehicle information, and a navigation system when connected to the Fortwo.
Since the engine and safety features remain the same throughout all trim levels, the only upgrades are found along the interior and exterior. But, they are noteworthy upgrades. Upgrading to the Passion trim level gets you some better upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, height-adjustable driver seat, and an additional storage compartment in the center console. This additional storage compartment is nice, especially for a vehicle that is lacking in storage space simply because of its design. A 3.5-inch color display within the instrument cluster is added, along with flat-folding passenger seats and a retractable cargo cover to aid in storage space.
It also gets a few new color schemes. Black exterior trim has been added, and you can choose from a selection of two-tone colors on the inside: orange on black, white on black, or black on black.
The Prime is the trim that starts to show the luxurious side of the Fortwo, with a panoramic sunroof, tridion silver metallic paint with matching mirrors and grille, black leather upholstery, ambient lighting, and heated seats. Just because it’s a microcar doesn’t mean it needs to sacrifice comfort amenities, and this trim proves it.
Along with comfort, it also gets some extra convenience technology, such as a rain and light sensors, a lighting package, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, three cup holders, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
If the prime was meant to be made for luxury, then that means the Proxy must be performance-focused. Apart from performance, it also gets white tridion paint with matching mirrors and grille, blue/white fabric upholstery, and a JBL sound system. Combine that with the 16-inch wheels, lowered sport suspension, alloy pedals, and shift paddles for the automatic transmission (and everything found on the previous trims), it’s easy to see why the Proxy is the top trim level.
The electric models — the coupe and the cabriolet — share similar performance and safety features, just like the gas-powered Fortwo trims.
The drivetrain found in the smart Fortwo’s electric models is a 55-kW electric motor, and a 17.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. While it’s able to generate 47 horsepower, it does have a burst mode that lets the electric model generate 74 horsepower for a short period of time. This is something that a lot of electric cars lack, and they shouldn’t. This provides that extra oomph you might be looking for when merging onto a busy highway, or even for an evasive maneuver to prevent a crash.
The EV-unique, single-gear transmission that provides instant torque to the wheels lets the Electric Fortwo go from 0-60 mph in a most impressive 11.5 seconds. That’s only one second slower than the gas-powered model. Also, fully charging the battery with a 240-volt power source takes six hours. While that might seem like a long time to charge for an EV, it’s worth it for the driving range, which is 68 miles, with an overall efficiency rating of 32 kWh used per 100 miles driven.
As far as features go, the Fortwo Coupe is home to any and all that come standard or available on the electric variant. Air conditioning, power windows with a one-touch lowering feature, two-spoke leather steering wheel, trip computer and dashboard gauges, and electric power steering are only a handful of the interior features, while the outside gets all-season tires, power and heated mirrors, as well as rain and light sensors. It’s also home to the same tridion cell found on the gas-powered Pure model.
The Cabriolet? Everything the coupe has, just with a convertible top. That way, you are able to put the top down on nice days, and save battery power by not using the air conditioning.
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Mercedes-Benz Laguna Niguel: Your Laguna Niguel, California smart Dealer
On our lot, you’ll find both the gas-powered and electric 2016 smart Fortwo models. For over four decades, we’ve been providing clients with high-quality Mercedes-Benz vehicles, along with any other found under the Mercedes umbrella, such as smart models. We also provide high-quality automotive service on any and all models we sell, and know that this is an integral part in keeping our customers happy. This is why we offer zero-wait service whenever you need standard maintenance or repairs on your vehicle, and premium Mercedes-Benz models available for loan in case of longer repairs.
How can we back up the confidence we have in our ability to provide high-quality sales and service? If having repeat customers isn’t enough, the fact we are only one of the seven Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the nation to be in business for over 40 years proves it.