Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Another Mistake By Smart; Not Bringing the Forfour To America

It seems Smart will only be selling the electric Fortwo in the USA and Canada. Because of this, many Smart Centers have closed. I guess this was done since France is working toward not selling electric cars after 2040. I think it is a mistake since the Fortwo ED does not have a great range and has a high price when compared to the gas powered version or other electric cars.

I think it would have been great if the Fortwo ED was a fuel cell battery vehicle. Refueling would be faster and have a farther range. Fuel cells exhaust has only water vapor. I consider it very green and way cool. Fuel cell has have made some advancements. They are smaller and provide more power. There are advancements in hydrogen production and storage.

Forfour - side
Forfour - back
Forfour - front
Forfour - back seat / inside
Forfour - 
(photos taken from the article / link above)

I think the Forfour would have a great appeal to many, more than the Fortwo. Smart has said that the market for this category of vehicle is crowded. I think it is crowded since many find it more appealing, especially when compared to the Fortwo. There was even a SUV version of the Forfour. I think this would have even a greater appeal; especially where 4 wheel drive would be useful in mud and snow.

I wish they had not made a new roadster but also had brought it to the USA. It is for another post (perhaps this is not my last after all).

I realize the previous post was supposed to be my last for this blog but (hopefully) this will be last (or next to last).

This is very similar to my 2012 Smart Fortwo Passion.
It will be the last one I will own unless Smart changes their minds
about bringing the gas powered Fortwo, Fortfour and Roadster
to the USA and Canada.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Smart Cars Are Still Cool But No Longer For Me

I will always think the Smart Fortwo is cool but it is no longer for me. I love driving my little car but it lacks a back seat, it has smaller tires in front than in back, it has no spare tire among other things. It does have a lot of room inside for such a small car. It has short turning radius. It was a lot of fun to drive.

Ever since Mercedes Benz decided to no longer sell the gas powered Fortwo in the USA and Canada and the Smart ED does not have a lot of range, I realized I would have to get a different small car. I am into small; cars, computers, houses, etc. The ED only has a range of about 120 miles per charge. The cost of the ED is more than I want to pay for a car.

Smart also decided to not sell the Forfive or the SUV version of the Forfive in the USA. I think the Forfive would have a great appeal than the Fortwo since most want a back seat.

I had a 2008 Smart Fortwo Passion. It was blue with a silver tridon. I had ordered it in July of 2007. I picked it up in March of 2008. I ordered it with the minimum of accessories. I was also paying for my parents car at the same time so I wanted the minimum payments. It was the first car I ordered online. It might be the last.

I traded it in for a 2012 Smart Fortwo Passion. It was black with a silver tridon. It had all the features I did not have in the 2008. It had AC, powered windows, heated seats, and a radio. It came in black; it was what they had. I almost did not get it since I had trouble with financing but it was resolved.

I am glad there are other small cars available that are still gas powered. Ones like the Mini Cooper and the Fiat 500. There are some being worked on; like the Elio, Nobe and Eleca.

This could be my last blog on the 'Smart Cars Are Cool' blog. I have others to keep me busy.

Friday, March 30, 2018

CEstar Smart? from China?

I found an article at Car News China on a car called CEstar Smart. It seems to be the only one that was made and its current location is unknown.

I have a feeling it is based on the Chinese 'smart' car instead of the Smart Fortwo that is made in France.
this photo is from the article site. From what I can see, it looks really cool. It would be great to see it from a side view but I have not found one, yet (still looking).
Here is the seating and steering column. It does not seem like a Smart Fortwo but it could be a Chinese copy of the Smart. 
This looks like the dash. The article indicates it is electric. It is a cool design for an electric car. 

There does not seem to have any information at the All Car Index site.

There is a little bit of information on Pinterest

There seems to be some information on it at Solar Feeds

It would be neat to find more information on this neat little car. 

I wonder if one could take the Smart Fortwo ED (or even the gas powered version?) and create something like the CEStar Smart? Perhaps give it more room for bigger people? One article indicates it might be suitable for Chinese people who are supposedly not so tall (like many from non-Asian countries). 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Aquarius Powered Smart Hybrid?

I ran across an article that mentions an engine that seems small, and gets good miles per gallon. The engine is by Aquarius Engines. I read that it is an Israel company.

Next Big Future has an article on it.  It is described as a light and simple engine. 'Nextbigfuture notes that there are many other substantial niches for a super-efficient, light, simple and cheap engine.' - I agree with them on that, I think it has potential. It indicates it can be used as a range extender and it has great miles per gallon. I think that is really good since I think electric vehicles don't have the range and charging time to compete or replace the gas powered vehicles. 
Here is the Aquarius engine. 
 Both the photo above and below are from the article / site. 
Since he is holding it up, it seems it is a light weight engine. 

Here it is used as a generator. I think it could produce a lot of power for not much fuel. The article indicates it could reduce the 'carbon footprint' since it does really well with the amount it uses; or amount it doesn't use and how long it uses it. 

Here it is used in vehicles. It seems to be a good platform for hybrids where one can build a body for it to fit ones needs or wants. I think it has potential. With Local Motors being able to print a body, one could truly create an unique body for it. 

I think it could make the Smart ED even better by making it a hybrid vehicle. As a hybrid, the Smart would have the range of a gas vehicle but with a really good miles per gallon since it uses gas so sparingly. It would make repair simpler since it has fewer parts. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

New Smart Roadster In The Planning?

There is a website that is in a language I don't read. I was able to find a way to have it translated into English. The original web site is by MB Passion. The translation is by Google Translate with this being the result; MB Passion (translated into English).

The article is 2011 so I doubt it will happen but it would be nice if it did.

With France going electric by 2040 and Smart only selling electric Fortwo's in Canada and the USA (perhaps Europe eventually), why not make an electric roadster? With the newer batteries and electric motors, the range could be great and one could drive in style while looking great in it.

It seems someone has the idea of an electric Smart Roadster. Smart Roadster - Conversion To Electric CarYouTube - Smart Roadster EV Conversion First Drive . YouTube - Smart Roadster EV Conversion First Drive.

Since I am discussing an electric roadster, why not an electric Forfour? It might be added to other electric four door four passenger cars in the market but that market has more appeal to buyers. I believe it has more appeal to buyers to have more seats and more doors. Just my opinion and my chance to 'voice it'.

this looks almost exactly like the Smart Fortwo Passion that I have. 
I call my Smart Fortwo Herb. It is a shortened version of the name Herbie the VW Beetle in the Disney movie The Love Bug. Both the air cooled VW Beetle and the Smart Fortwo are rear engine and rear wheel drive vehicles. The Fortwo is smaller than the Beetle; hence, the smaller name. 

Here is an outline of the 451 Smart Fortwo.  One could use it as the basis for kit cars with the outline being used to draw what other could look like with it as the platform / donor vehicle. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

New Lancia Stratos Using Smart Fortwo Parts?

I saw a site that indicates a new Lancia Stratos. The site is called New Stratos. The car looks really nice. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a lot of activity there. It seems - per an article by Jalopnik - that Ferrari is blocking it since the new one is supposed to be based on a frame from them. The new Stratos is supposed to have a limited run.
a photo from the New Stratos site. 

I think the Smart Fortwo would be a great basis / donor car for a new Stratos. The Smart Fortwo has a dual clutch (with newer Smarts having a full manual transmission) and is a rear wheel drive rear engine configuration. This is similar to what the Stratos has. One could use a different engine - perhaps a compact one like from Liquid Piston that has horsepower with a smaller size - since Smart seems to going all electric (since it is made in France and will only sell electric vehicles there by 2040). 

Here is an outline of the Fortwo. There is a vent behind the door that scoops air to the engine in back. It is also where the transmission is. The radiator is in front. 
Here is the rotary engine by Liquid Piston. It seems to be a more successful rotary engine. If one can no longer get the three cylinder engine from Smart, this could - in my opinion even though I know only what I have read about it - an alternative to power it. 
Here is a photo that shows the engine being in back.

Perhaps if one could use the engine and transmission from the Smart ED, perhaps one could create an electric Stratos? The Smart ED has a range of 120 miles per charge (from the Smart ED web site). If the new Stratos is lighter in weight than the Smart ED, the range could be longer. 

As the Michalak C7 was based on a Smart Fortwo - not just the engine but also other parts like the frame, perhaps the new Stratos could also. They would not have to worry about Ferrari not approving it and it might be lower in price since there are more Smart cars. 
Even though the end result could be a car that I could not afford, I hope someone - preferably with means - sees this blog and considers doing so. It could bring back a really cool little car. 

This is just me thinking out loud. 

my much improved site
not perfect but still better than before

still needs work but has some nice items that has my artwork on
that one can order/buy.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

King Midget Kit Using a Smart Fortwo as the Donor Car?

This is a 'just thinking out loud' type of blog. I like to think of 'what ifs' situation. This one involves a not produced King Midget car and the parts of a Smart Fortwo (actually most of the Smart Fortwo and custom panels / extensions that would give the Smart Fortwo the appearance of the Mark 4).

Here is a scan from a magazine that had an article on the King Midget car. There is some information on the scanned page but it is blurry and difficult to read. It is not listed on the International King Midget Owners website. It is also not at the Midget Motors site. I have a feeling that if King Midgets were made after the Mark Three - perhaps the above would have been the Mark Four? - it would have been made? 

There is some history of the King Midget car at the history section of the King Midget Car Club.

The idea of this blog is to see if one could take the parts - mostly everything from a Smart Fortwo - and use them to make a kit car that looks like the Mark Four (a name I gave it since I am unable to read the blurry text part of the scanned image). It would obviously be bigger than the original King Midget which were really small cars. If it was just a matter of changing panels and slight frame adjustments, it could be safe for road use; since the Smart Fortwo is safe for road use. 

Here is the outline for the Smart Fortwo. It is similar to the King Midget in that they are both rear wheel rear engine vehicles. The difference is that the Fortwo has an water cooled engine as opposed to the air cooled one of the KM. The Smart has a three cylinder engine as opposed to the one cylinder the KM has. I believe if one could make a Fortwo looking like a Mark 4, it would be bigger, more comfortable, be safer, and be more highway capable than the Mark 4 (assuming it was ever made and was not limited to just concept drawings). I wonder how many would prefer it - the Smart KM4 (name of the Smart King Midget hybrid design) over the Fortwo since it would be longer, which some would associate with safer. 

I have a feeling that Smart would not be interested in making such a vehicle because they have all those cool concepts that would have increased the appeal of the Smart brand (since they are usually bigger than the Fortwo) but have not gone beyond the concept cars. 

I wonder how many micro cars with rear engine / rear wheel drive could be 'updated' (taking a Smart Fortwo and changing it to look like the older rear wheel / rear engine micro car but making it bigger and safer than the original)? I will post some of these in this blog in the future. It would be similar - in my opinion - to what Fiat did with the newer 500 and what Mini did with the newer Cooper. 

A lot of my ideas will never get off the sketchpad but it is neat to imagine what could be. If I had a lot of resources, they might become reality. Until then, I just like to design and think of the possibilities.

much improved personal web site.

some of my art at my store at the Cafe Press site.
It still needs better photos but most pretty good.