Swatch + Benz = smart

September 25, 2008

Did you know that the Swatch watch company originally came up with the concept for the smart (yes, “smart” is in all lower case) car, and then paired with Daimer Benz to actually produce these cars?  I didn’t till this morning.  In fact, the name “smart” is an acronym for Swatch Mercedes ART  (Hmm, what does A.R.T. stand for?  I don’t know, and Google ain’t helpful.)

While I’m at it, here’re some stats and tech specs on the smart fortwo, mostly from its FAQs:

  • There are three models — the smart fortwo pure coupe starts at $11,590, the smart fortwo passion coupe starts at $13,590, and the smart fortwo passion cabriolet starts at $16,590.
  • The top speed of a smart car is 90 mph.
  • The smart fortwo mileage is 33 city/41 highway mpg.
  • Smart’s website states that, according to, the smart fortwo is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid gasoline-powered vehicle in the USA today.
  • The gas tank of the smart fortwo is 8.7 gallons.
  • The smart fortwo is 8.8 feet long (you can usually fit two smart fortwos in an average parking space), 5.1 feet tall (the smart still has as much headroom as most luxury vehicles), and 5.1 feet wide (roominess is a ‘WOW’ factor!)
  • The smart fortwo has an innovative tridion safety cell design that keeps occupants safe during crashes by re-distributing crash energy.  Plus, four airbags are provided.
  • The “base” smart model — the smart fortwo pure — has:

standard with convenience features such as a 5-speed automated manual transmission with manual or automatic mode, central remote locking system, 2-spoke leather steering wheel, radio-ready console, and more.  Air conditioning, power windows and alloy wheels are optional. Be sure to check out the passion coupe and passion cabriolet that offer more standard features at an outstanding value.

  • The next higher smart model — the smart fortwo passion — includes:

all the features described on the pure, plus much more. Additional standard equipment includes a panorama roof, alloy wheels, air conditioning with climate control, 3-spoke leather sports steering wheel with shift paddles, power windows, electric and heated side mirrors, and AM/FM radio with CD player.

  • The top smart model — the smart fortwo passion cabriolet — has:

all the features of the passion coupe plus an upgraded radio and sound system that includes an mp3 compatible in-dash 6-disk CD changer. The main difference lies in the soft top with a heated rear glass window that is fully automatic and can be infinitely adjusted to any position while driving at any speed. For the full cabriolet experience, simply remove the side roof bars – taken out in no time – and stow them in a special compartment in the tailgate.

5 Responses to “Swatch + Benz = smart”

  1. anonymous Says:

    you seem to forget and left out a pretty odd requirement

    requires PREMIUM GAS

    yeah.. that 4.00+ one – the top tier gas.

  2. WAD Says:

    I saw many Smart in Canada (Ontario) while none in Western New York. I wonder why…

    Anyway, look at “art” instead of “A.R.T.” (first page in the link)

    p.s. When reading the link I copied n’ pasted above, funny it mentioned about what I noticed Canada — on page 6

  3. WAD Says:

    Off the point story (a real brief one)… My friends and I were traveling to Canada to ski, the car broke. There’s no way they could fix it. The vehicle became a junk. We were forced to rent a car and drove back to the U.S. Guess what? At U.S. custom, they gave us really a hard time because we were driving an illegal car — approx. two hours of arguing with them. When we returned the rental car in Rochester, they made us pay an additional $500 fee because we’re driving an illegal car. It occurred in 1987. I was so young and naive. I did not bother to ask them exact why they considered it illegal. It still bothers me today not knowing why. *shrugs*

  4. proudgeek Says:

    Anonymous – premium gas? I didn’t know that. Forget it!

    WAD – thanks for the story – very interesting and scary. And looks like “art” is supposed to mean it being artistic? That surprises me. The article you linked to seems a bit old – I’m curious if it needs to be updated now that the smart fortwo has been on sale in the USA for a while. While reading the article, I discovered that “fortwo” means “for two.” Ah-ha.

  5. mike Says:

    SMART stands for : Swatch Mercedes ART (ART = Artistic Retro Transportation) Why is it “retro” ? I don’t know.

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