DaimlerChysler Smart Fortwo

The Smart car began life in the early '90s as a partnership between Mercedes-Benz and the Swiss watch manufacturer, Swatch. They had a vision to create a small, funky car for the 21st century, but the relationship broke down and Mercedes was left to complete the project. The first Smart arrived in Europe in 1998, but suffered from handling problems and had to be redesigned and then relaunched.

The original plan was for Smart to develop a comprehensive range. The original two-seater CityCoupe was flowed by a Roadster and a Roadster-Coupe and then by a larger four-seater called the Forfour. The Roadster was cute but expensive, while the Forfour, developed with Mitsubishi, was dull and overpriced. Neither sold well and Smart continued to suffer heavy losses.

To the slaughterhouse went the Roadster and Forfour, and early in 2007 DaimlerChrysler was considering shutting Smart or selling it. Only the enthusiasm of the CEO saved it, and now Smart has a new business model built around a single model, the Fortwo.

The new Smart is larger than the original, but not by much. It's 7.6" longer than before and almost 2" wider, with roughly a 2"-longer wheelbase. This increase was required to provide additional luggage capacity and meet pedestrian safety requirements. But despite this, the Fortwo is still a tiny car. At 106" long, it's more than 3' shorter than the new MINI.

The Fortwo burns 3.1 gallons of gasoline per hour. The front passenger seat folds down for extra cargo space. Visibility is good.


Subassemblies: Body +2, 4 wheels +0.

Powertrain: 52-kW improved wheeled drivetrain with 52-kW improved standard gasoline engine, 2,000-kWs lead acid battery.

Fuel: 8.7 gallons gasoline (Fire 11).

Occupancy: 1 NCS, 1 NPS.

Cargo: 7.8 cf.


Armor F RL B T U

All: 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5



Body: Receive-only radio; 2 airbags (NCS and NPS); 2-man environmental control.



Size: 8.8'x5.1'x5.1' Payload: 0.25 tons Lwt.: 1.16 tons

Volume: 176 cf. Maint.: 186 hours Price: $9,759


HT: 12. HPs: 120 Body, 12 each Wheel.


gSpeed: 90 gAccel: 5 gDecel: 15 gMR: 0.75 gSR: 4

Ground Pressure High. 1/6 Off-Road speed.


Design Notes:

Body is 160 cf; wheels are 16 cf. Structure is Light, Standard. It has improved brakes. Armor is cheap metal. Mechanical controls. Empty weight is 1,808 lbs. Calculated gSpeed was 86 mph. List price for a 2008 model is $11,590.



The Pulse starts at around $11,000, with steel rims and no air conditioning.

The Passion will cost around $13,000 and add air conditioning, alloys and a transparent polycarbonate roof.

A convertible version will top the range at $15,000. The soft top will open or close electronically at any speed.


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic