February 7, 2007 One of the most interesting new cars planned for 2007 is the re-branded and re-engineered smart roadster to be re-launched under the world-famous marque of AC (think the AC Cobra). Last year the oddly-named Project Kimber purchased the rights from Mercedes for the smart roadster and the latest news is that the engineering team will be headed by none other than world renowned Formula 1 and road car designer Professor Gordon Murray. Murray is best known for engineering the McLaren F1 road car (the fastest car in the world for several years) and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren but for the last three years, Murray has used a smart roadster coupe for his personal day-to-day transport. As a result, he not only brings to the project his extensive knowledge of design and engineering, but a unique understanding and experience of the core product. Murray’s team will include chief designer John Piper, formerly of Williams Grand Prix, Benetton and Reynard. Piper led the Visioneering team which supplied the engineering capabilities to JCB for the Dieselmax car which set a new diesel land speed record last year. The new car will be available in both normally-aspirated and turbocharged versions using the latest 1.0-litre, three-cylinder Mitsubishi engine running through a Getrag manual gearbox.
The re-branded and re-engineered smart roadster
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.All articles by Mike Hanlon