Some of the concept cars that turn up at motor shows seem a little bit mad, but the smart forstars scheduled to be unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show (September 29 - October 14) is a car that seems to have developed a particularly serious identity disorder. On the one hand, it’s an electric SUC (Sports Utility Coupé). On the other hand, it’s a mobile video projector for staging impromptu cinema outings on any handy blank wall.
Smart has provided some more information on the company’s first foray into transportation of the two-wheeled, pedal-assist variety. With help from the likes of parent company Daimler, the bike’s battery supplier, and GRACE, the Berlin-based e-Bike manufacturer that helped in its design, the smart ebike
was put through its paces in February in Majorca to test the bike ahead of its impending release.
Just last month, the designers at smart decided to tease us by releasing some sketches of a concept electric vehicle that they had actually created, known as the for-us
. While the front of the vehicle looked quite a bit like the existing fortwo, the Subaru Brat-like mini rear cargo bed definitely gave it a unique car-truck-combo appeal ... or repulsion, depending on the observer. Well, with the start of the North American International Auto Show 2012 this week in Detroit, the curious need no longer wonder what the actual vehicle might look like, as it is proudly out on display.
Much as some people loathe it, I’ve always kind of liked the Subaru Baja. It has the quirky short-bed car/truck look of the Hummer, but isn’t anywhere near as large and nasty as that vehicle. Well, the designers at smart have taken the “little Hummer” idea to the extreme, with the for-us concept. Premiering next month at the North American International Auto Show, the two-seater electric car looks pretty much like a smart fortwo ... with a little cargo bed in back.
Smart's iconic lightweight fortwo was such a natural for conversion to electric propulsion that it was one of the first zero emission cars with a badge recognizable by the general public. In essence, the electric smart changed little from the petrol-engined version apart from the drivetrain. Now it has teamed with chemical developer BASF to envisage the smart reconstructed with new materials for insulation, reflection, energy management and weight saving. The roof not only transmits light, it generates energy. smart says the end result of the forvision makeover is an increase in range of 20 percent with exactly the same powertrain.
Two new electric smart vehicles will debut in showrooms next year. The third generation smart fortwo electric car will be available within twelve months in more than 30 markets while a smart pedelec power-assist electric bike will also be available in dealerships during 2012.
Daimler's car2go car sharing
service kicked off in Ulm, Germany
in October 2008 before expanding to Austin, Texas
in 2010. Earlier this month, Hamburg, Germany, became the first city with more than a million inhabitants to see the introduction of the car2go service, but the second won't be far behind with a launch set for Amsterdam before the end of the year. One point of difference for the Amsterdam fleet is that the 300 strong fleet will consist purely of electric drive smart fortwo
A World War I issue flying cap and goggles might be standard equipment if smart
's latest concept offering ever makes it to the showroom floor. The smart forspeed dispenses with a roof, adds in a bunch of intelligent electricity-saving features and offers an open-air driving experience coupled with the silence of a not-so-modest electric drive souped up and borrowed from the smart fortwo electric drive
. Interestingly, it's essentially an electric version of the smart Crossblade Limited Edition, which singer Robbie Williams championed back in 2002 (top right).
You still have to do your own laundry and cooking, but LG promises its new THINQ technology will make it easier and more economical to manage your home appliances. LG is showing off its latest smart refrigerators, stoves, and washers at CES 2011
and the appliances are loaded with energy-saving, diagnostic, and customization features. You will even to be able to monitor and control your appliances using your smartphone or tablet.