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by Michael Hines
The Fortwo may be slow and cramped, but (insert redeeming values here).
There's a good chance that mainstream America will never fully embrace the Smart Fortwo. Smart may have sold over 50,000 cars in the states but that doesn't mean that the brand will stop a punch line to gearheads any time soon. That being said, these strange Smart concepts are meant to be both mocked and praised. Gearheads who crave big muscle cars will get a kick out of all of these weirdly shaped Smarts. Eco-friendly folk who love Smarts will enjoy looking at some of the brand's latest concepts. Everybody wins.
The Dock+Go from Rinspeed is a strange add-on for the electric Fortwo that acts as a range-extending battery pack/trunk. What makes Rinspeed people will like Smarts with six wheels if they already hate ones with two wheels?
Smart's Forspeed is perhaps the most misleadingly named concept car ever. The all-electric, roofless and door handle-less ride is powered by a 41hp electric motor capable of doing 0 to 37 in 5.5 seconds and topping out at 80 mph. A small button on the dash provides an additional 7hp should you need an extra boost to beat a table in a drag race.
The Smart For-Us is an electric truck that actually puts up decent (as measured against other Smarts) power numbers. Its engine puts out 75hp and 98 lb-ft of torque with a 0 to 60 time of under 5 seconds and a top speed of 80 mph. The For-Us' 11.6 cubic feet of space is meant to appeal to urbanites who like to hit the country on the weekend/have a penchant for buying too much groceries at Whole Foods.
Smart's uber-quirky Forvision EV concept is designed to be as light and energy efficient as possible. The concept conserves via its energy-conscious LED lights and its "transparent organic solar cells." The Forvision is nothing more than a design study, but its features could one day make it into electric ForTwos. Hopefully the company's design department is wise enough to keep that roof strictly in concept form.
Renault and Smart are working together to develop the 2014 Fortwo. The only information about the new Fortwo is that which can be gleaned from these spy photos. If its new grille and the fact that Renault is helping build it doesn't excite you then what will?