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.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

smart electric drive Production plant Hambach

I saw this on YouTube. It is the Smart ED being assembled. I think it is very interesting. I think it is very similar to the gas powered 452 being assembled. 

smart electric drive Production plant Hambach - YouTube link.

the 2016 Smart Fortwo ED. One can see the ED logo on the tridon. 

Drivers of the gas powered Smart Fortwo have been asked if their vehicle was electric. Now they can say yes. I have been asked 'how far does it go on a charge?'. I tell them it is a gas powered vehicle and they look surprised. 

It is odd and funny how some people have asked if the Smart was electric while the driver of the tiny car was at a gas station filling it up with gas. 

I found that the range of the Smart ED is about 124 miles. It seems they improved it. I believe it was a lot less. I think this increase in range would make it more appealing. Being a two seat car with two doors might lessen its appeal. I think the range would also be determined by how fast one drives and the weather conditions (hot or cold days) and how many devices one runs in the car while driving. 

Hopefully they will bring an electric version of the Forfour to the US. I think it could have a greater appeal than an electric two seat two door car. It could also carry more too. They decided not to bring the gas version of the Forfour to the US but I am hoping they will bring the electric version of the Forfour here. 

Personally I think a fuel cell powered electric Smart Fortwo would be really cool. It would be faster refueling than it would take to recharge the battery version. One could get a hydrogen station for ones home so one can refuel there. 

I believe Smart had a fuel cell powered Fortwo at one time. I know I saw it online but have yet to find it. It will be a separate post when I do. 
While this isn't the fuel cell one, it is cool and it would be greener if it was powered by a fuel cell. I have seen some really small ones. Intelligent Energy has some small fuel cells (as do other companies but IE is the first to come to mind). IE Automotive
This is one of their products. It looks like it could fit into the engine area of a Fortwo (not easy to tell since one can see how big or how small it is with nothing to compare it with - visually). 


This is How Smart Cars are made: One of Smallest Car in The World

Here is a video that I found on YouTube. It is on how a Smart Fortwo is made; actually assembled. It does not show the whole process but the final assembly. It is of the newer 452 model. 

This is How Smart Cars are made: One of Smallest Car in The World - YouTube (link).

I think that is really cool. It is neat seeing it assembled. It is the 452; the newer model of Fortwo. 

I think it is a mistake that Smart will only sell the electric version of the Fortwo in the US and Canada. The Smart ED does not really have the range that is needed by most Americans. If they could double the range, it would have a great appeal to Americans. 

I know that Smart had a fuel cell version of the Fortwo. I think that would do better than just a battery powered Fortwo. It is faster to refuel and one can have a fuel station at ones house. 

I think it is a mistake that Smart did not sell the Forfour in the US. I think it would have a greater appeal than a two door two seat car. They say the market for this type of vehicle is too crowded. I think it is crowded for a reason; more want a four door / four seat car than a two door / two seat car.

I think Smart should have created a newer roadster and sold it in the US. I think it would have greatly improved the Smart brand name and broaden the model range. It would have shown that Smart is not just economy cars but also sporty. 

Some of this is me letting off steam about what Smart is or isn't doing 
to the American market. It would be nice if they read
this post and took it into consideration. 
TomLeeM aka BigGoofyGuy
(without my glasses).

like me, a work in progress

my store at Cafe Press that has my art on things.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

One Cool Smart Camper Concept

While I don't think this got any farther than the drawings, I think it is one cool camper concept. It is show with a Smart Fortwo; which is why I am showing it here. I think any small car could tow it.

The designs are from a site called Car Body Design. 'TheAutoConnection has revealed some official sketches that preview a possible line of accessories for the new Smart ForTwo, but at the moment there are no production plans.'

It is also shown at the site of Auto Blog.

It appears to be for one person. It looks like it would have a lot of places for a lot things that one would bring on a camping trip.
The same designer has one for cargo - or in this case a motorcycle trailer. It looks like it could be used for not just a motorcycle but also a scooter or similar sized two wheeled vehicle. 

Here is his idea for a boat and trailer. I think it is very clever. Like the Smart Fortwo, the boat looks like it would be seating for two people or one very comfortably. 

The one article indicated is one persons ideas of what could be. The article is dated 2007, the year before the Smart Fortwo was sold in the US. I think it would be nice if someone did actually make them, at least the camper one. It could be sold as a camper that any really small car can tow, not just in the US but also any place that has small cars. 

a work in progress, like myself. 

my store with my art on items for sale
(also a work in progress).

Monday, August 28, 2017

Zacua - Smart like and a Rival for the Fortwo and Mini Cooper?

I came across a compact electric car that is being (or will be made) in Mexico. The company is called Zacua.  It is the M2 and the M3. From what I have read about it, they are both electric vehicles.

The M2 reminds me of a lengthened Smart Fortwo or of a Mini Cooper roadster.

I think it looks like a lengthened Smart Fortwo. It seems like it would be a Fortwo if Smart decided to make it a two sedan. 

it seems similar to the Mini Cooper roadster but without the roof that looks similar to a helmet. 

I wonder if one could take the engine and transmission from a Fortwo and put it into the M2.  I think it would give the Smart car a greater sense of safety. 

I wonder if Smart could use this design or similar one to it in making the next Fortwo? I think it would or could have a greater appeal to the current model; 451 or 452.  Perhaps with its longer length, Smart could make it a gas battery electric hybrid or a fuel cell battery hybrid. 

The M3 reminds me of a Mini Cooper. I don't have dimensions but I wonder if it is close to the older Mini Cooper or the newer Mini Cooper. 
This seems similar to a Mini Cooper. It could be a less expensive version of the Mini Cooper. It is definitely an electric version of it. 

Here is the newer Mini Cooper. It seems bigger than the M3. It seems to have the same size doors but is longer in length. 

Here is the older Mini Cooper. The size of the M3 seems closer in size to it. The M3 seems to have bigger doors than the original Mini Cooper.

I like their logo. I wonder if one could get on merchandise?
Perhaps they could open a store with a site similar to that of Cafe Press.

My web site on me

my art on things for sale

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A SUV Version of the Smart Fortwo?

There is an article at Car Scoops titled 'Smart Fortwo Tries An SUV Suit For Size'. I agree with the article that it may never come to be but I am hoping they make this one. Smart has other concepts that are way cool but never lead to an actually production vehicle.

I think a Smart SUV - like this one - could not only broaden the mode line of Smart but it would appeal to those in colder climates and those who go on roads that not all that great. Since it has a bigger hood and a slightly longer back to it, it would give a greater sense of safety too.

Personally, I think it is like a muscle bound Fortwo that has steroids. In this case, the steroids has produced a really - in my opinion - cool looking sport utility vehicle. I would not mind trading in my current Smart Fortwo (a 2012 black and silver Passion).

On one post about it, they indicate it resembles an AMC Gremlin. I can see the resemblance. Since I really like the AMC Gremlin, this is a good thing. If one does not like the resemblance to the Gremlin, it might be a bad thing.  The site shows it in different colors but I like this one since I like blue. With its bigger tires and wider stance, I think it would do great in off road and / or colder climates. 

One can see some of the Fortwo heritage in the front end of this car. It does look wider than the Fortwo, which could be good since it would make it more stable and less likely to roll over.

While I really like the blue color, the other colors are really nice too. I think it looks great in red.
I think black gives it a sense of mystery.
I think the white one gives it a sense of being owned by Mr Clean.
I am not sure what color this is but it does look nice. It is like a golden color but does not have too much yellow in it. I think it is pretty.

a site on my and my interests 
(needs to be updated but still good).

photos of some of my artwork at the Cafe Press site
(needs better photos of what I have created to make better items for sale).