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Smart ForUs – Another Unintelligent Concept?

Embracing a never-say-die business strategy and attitude with regards to the smart fortwo brand, smart GmbH a division of Daimler is once again displaying yet another smart concept vehicle. For those who have followed the smart car brand, know smart GmbH is the smart fortwo’s manufacturer. This time around, they’ve revealed the worlds very first eco-friendly pickup truck – the electric powered smart For-Us concept motor vehicle.

This is a tiny mini-micro truck follows in the smart fortwo tradition and designed to carry two-passengers. However, it is substantially larger than the company’s mainstay – the smart fortwo coupe. The increased bulk makes the For-Us approximately three feet longer, rendering it just a few inches short of a Mini Cooper. Additionally, the pickup bed of the For-Us is sized and setup to transport 2 all-new smart electric bikes, while being able to charge them – on the move. This makes the For-Us much like the Geely IC current model.

The quirky and appealing smart For-Us utilizes the identical lithium-ion battery along with the same electric drive in the smart ED electric-powered car due this spring.

But the question about this smart offer is becoming a recurring concern – Is this one more terrific smart concept car that will never make it to the street?

smart GmbH has produced or attempted manufacturing no fewer than 8 distinct models. These have consisted of the smart crossblade, forfour, Roadster as well as the 4-door forfour. None of these models is manufactured any longer and can only be assessed as total financial calamities.

Additionally, there were the engaging concepts of the smart concept vehicles. Beginning with the crosstown, the formore SUV, forvision, and finally the ForspeED. All came and exited without a plan for implementation or success. As a result, all must be considered as failed attempts for the automaker to grow and diversify.

The core auto for smart, has always been the original fortwo design. We believe, like the majority practical consumers – why not get the first one right? It would then be possible to proceed to greater and improved models.

Mercedes-Benz USA is now in charge of sales and service for the fortwo in the USA. Plans were for a re-launch of the smart car U.S. with potent marketing campaigns behind it. However, it appears the company is providing us with yet another reproof concept flop which was displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit called the For-Us.

Mercedes-Benz (Daimler) is coming off its best year in the past decade, but their smart GmbH division remains a challenge – The initial smart car was manufactured and sold nearly 13-years ago.

Even diehard smart followers are confused about the future of smart. Lots of people are beginning to question exactly how “smart” the smart car is, and how creative will Mercedes-Benz USA marketing get in promoting this model entry? Will they finally put the appropriate amount of marketing muscle and dollars behind the line to make it a success?

James Bond’s Famous Car From “The Spy Who Loved Me” – The Lotus Espirit

For Lotus and especially the Lotus Espirit that the very spirit and decision that Lotus make more use of their own cars and factory production facilities from 1974 onwards, it was decided to replace the mid-engined Lotus “Europa” with a brand new model and workup of mid engine automobile utilizing the same 16 valve 2 liter engine, installed at 45 degrees to the chassis. However the new car, which was designated and named “Espirit” retained the backbone, pressed steel frame layout of the old Europa, it was entirely and fully a new vehicle in detail.

Also new was the wedge-style glassfibre body shape, carried out for Lotus by the famous Italian automotive stylist.Giugiaro, and the use of a modified Citroen SM gearbox and final drive assembly – the difference being that SM’s transaxle had originally been front mounted for a front wheel drive installation. Although it also had been adapted for use in the mid -engine Maserati Merak as well.

The all-independent suspension was engineered fro series-production use, but the geometry akin on that found to racing sports cars, and the entire vehicle showed signs of Lotus’s racing roots and heritage. Like other contemporary Lotuses. Too it had flip-up headlamps plus a much more luxurious interior and fascia than any previous road car from this Lotus factory. One of the clever tricks used by Lotus and Lotus management to keep their costs and investment costs to a bare minimum was that they picked components from other car that is if they could not afford to develop on their own. Half a loaf of bread – or in this a fine automobile on the road or race track, was better than none at all. Thus the first Espirits had Opel Ascona front suspension components and modified Lancia Beta high performance disk brakes.

Production did not begin until 1976, when the first Espirits were found to be rather disappointingly slower than the claims that had been made for them on announcement. To their great credit however, Lotus management and engineers went back to the “drawing boards’ and took the time, detail to attention and energy to more than rectify this. All in all, in hindsight this could be due to the variable performance of the Lotus built engines. These corrections had to be made before the cars’ full 135 / 140 miles per hour performance could be guaranteed 100 percent.

In the next few years however, much more intensive and elaborate development work was carried out, without disturbing the general style or concepts of the automobile. Series 2 models from mid 1978, had new styling details, while by 1980 not only had the engine been enlarged to 2,174 cc, but a very powerful ( 210 bhp) instead of the original 156bhp turbocharged engine had been developed.

Yet in the end it was “show biz’ that brought the Lotus Espirit to great attention and not even the vehicle as much. A white Lotus Espirit S1 was featured as James Bonds’ car in the 1971 Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me’. This had such a great impact on the popularity and even notoriety of the auto that it was followed up by a performance of the brand new Turbo Espirit as a star feature all by itself in the 1981 James Bond spy movie “For Your Eyes Only”.