Proving unpopular the first time around, the Smart ForTwo is back for round 2, bringing its four-door fraternal twin, the ForFour, along for some city adventures.
The all-new, completely-redesigned ForTwo promises to offer more room, equipment and safety feature than its predecessor without an increase its length (it measures 2.69-meter, or 8.8 feet). Naturally, the larger ForFour is longer at 2.69-meter (8.8 feet), offering room for two more passengers or a much larger cargo volume should the rear seats be folded flat.
Design-wise, the small city car is still as pint-size as ever, featuring very short overhangs. It borrows a few styling cues from the Smart ForJoy, ForStars and For-Us concepts, such as the large grille; the prominent logo described as demonstrating “self-confidence”; and the larger, more angular headlights and taillights. Buyers will have the choice of approximately 40 different two-tone color combinations.
The upgraded interior houses a three-spoke leather steering wheel with multifunction controls, a 3.5-inch display on the instrument cluster, a free-standing touchscreen display for the infotainment system, funky air vents, heated seats and many other interesting goodies. A JBL sound system is optional, bringing eight speakers to the ForTwo or 12 speakers to the ForFour.
For motivation, the two Smart models will be offered with three different three-cylinder engines, including a 1.0-liter naturally-aspirated unit making 70 horsepower (72 PS) and 91Nm, a 0.9-liter turbo mill rated at 89 hp (90 PS) and 135Nm, and — later on — a 59 hp (60 PS) petrol engine. Power is sent to the front wheels either by a five-speed manual transmission or a dual-clutch six-speed automatic gearbox.
Smart is particularly proud of the super small turning circle the two cars, which is set at 6.95 m (from kerb to kerb) and 7.30 m (from wall to wall) for the ForTwo, and at 8.65 m (kerb to kerb) and 8.95 m (wall to wall) for the ForFour.
In Europe, the new Smart ForTwo will have a starting price of under 11,000 euros (~$14,880 USD), while the more spacious ForFour with the same engine will fetch around 11,600 euros (~$15,690 USD). North American pricing will be announced at a later date.
Here is some trivia: The latest ForTow and especially the ForFour are mechanically related to the new Renault Twingo. What do you think about how they turned out?
This Is The Last Volkswagen Beetle Made
The day has come to say farewell to the iconic hatchback… again.
Volkswagen has stopped production of the VW Beetle after building the last Beetle (pictured) on July 10, 2019 at its plant in Pueblo, Mexico. Painted in Denim Blue, the two-door hatchback that rolled off the assembly line will be displayed at the company’s local museum in Puebla, Mexico.
Conceived by Adolf Hitler in 1939, just in time for World War 2, the VW Beetle has been one of the most successful vehicles in automotive history. Post-war production began in 1949, and by 1955, there were 1 million Beetles on the road.
The “people’s car” eventually made its way to North America as the Type 1 and was an instant hit. At its peak in 1968, U.S. Beetle sales hit 563,522 units, accounting for 40 percent of global Beetle production.
German production of the first-generation Beetle ceased in 1978, but the design lived on a while longer in Mexico, where it was built until 2003. VW decided to resurrect the Beetle in 1998 — calling it the New Beetle, it sold more than 1.2 million units of the car between 1998 and 2010.
The third generation Beetle arrived in 2011. With more than 500,000 units built, it was the least successful of the three Beetles.
“It’s impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be without the Beetle,” said Scott Keogh, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “From its first import in 1949 to today’s retro-inspired design, it has showcased our company’s ability to fit round pegs into square holes of the automotive industry. While its time has come, the role it has played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished.”
In all, VW built a total of 21.5 million Beetles during the model’s multi-decade run, nearly 5 million of which were sold in the United States. The Puebla plant that produced the Beetles since 1967 will transition to making a small SUV for the North American market.
Rumor as it that the Beetle will be reborn as a four-door electric car sometime in the future. Would you like to see that?
Mini Cooper SE Is Mini’s First All-Electric Car
The SE provides a modest range of up to 168 miles in Europe, and generous instant torque should make it a real hoot to drive around town.
After months of teasing, MINI has finally unveiled its first-ever all-electric car, the Cooper SE.
The company’s EV is essentially a Mini Cooper S with an electric drivetrain — more specifically, the same technology used by the BMW i3 — that lets it drive 235 to 270 kilometers (146 to 168 miles) based on Europe’s WLTP and NEDC test cycles. It will reportedly have an EPA-certified driving range of 183 km (114 miles) in the U.S., a figure that will not make it a direct competitor with the Tesla Model 3 and other 200+ mile electric vehicles.
A 32.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack energizes an electric motor that produces 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft. of torque, allowing the Cooper Electric to zoom from 0 96 km/h (62 mph) in 7.9 seconds before hitting a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).
The production car seems to stay close to the concept that debuted back in 2017, featuring bright yellow accents and optional asymmetrical Corona Spoke two-tone 17-inch wheels. The interior features unique display and control elements.
According to MINI, the MINI Electric maintains the brand’s characteristic “go-kart feeling.” It weighs just 319 pounds more than the regular Cooper S two-door hardtop despite the added heft of the battery and has a 30 mm lower center of gravity thanks to the floor-mounted battery.
Are you happy with how it turned out?
New Honda e Electric Car Makes Big Power, Has 124-Mile Range
With more than 221 lb-ft. of torque to work with, the tiny EV is no push-over.
Honda has released some performance details for its latest electric car, the Honda e.
Powered by a rear mounted electric motor, the cute, retro inspired electric hatchback makes 148 horsepower and more than 221 lb-ft. of torque, all of which is sent to the rear wheels. That’s a lot of torque for such a pint-sized.
The ample power and rear-wheel drive configuration, together with a 50:50 weight distribution, low center of gravity, four-wheel independent McPherson Strut suspension, and turning radius of just 4.3 meters (14 feet), should make the Honda e a lot of fun to drive around the city.
A 35.5kWh battery allows it to travel up to 124 miles on a single charge. Once depleted, it can be recharged up to 80 percent in 30 minutes using a fast charger.
The Honda e makes its debut in the second half of 2019, but buyers in the UK, Germany, France and Norway can already reserve one. Would consider buying Honda’s small electric car?
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