Car reviews - Smart - ForTwo - Coupe and Cabrio
Second-generation ForTwo Coupe and Cabrio provide the best excuse yet to buy Smart
25 Feb 2008
IF YOU have secretly hankered after a Smart, then now is the time to come out of the closet, because the virtually all-new 451-series ForTwo comprehensively updates and improves a personal transportation concept that can only become more relevant and sensible as time goes by. It isn’t perfect, with a firm ride probably still being the two-seater runabout’s Achilles Heel, and the price is up against some excellent light and small cars, but the Smart is like absolutely no other car in the world today, or ever. And the 451 is more practical and fun to drive, cheaper to run and cleaner burning than its patchy predecessor, while coming across as more grown up and refined than ever before. Here, at last, is the Smart ForTwo you could easily justify buying, without suffering the compromises of its decade-old predecessor.
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Smart City Coupe/CabrioReleased: May 2003
Ended: February 2008
Family Tree: ForTwo
DaimlerChrysler took a punt in introducing its pint-sized Euro city runabout into Australia. And while sales were not ever very strong, the City Coupe/Cabrio (changed to ForTwo from January 2004 to accommodate its failed ForFour big brother) did sell well enough to gain a cult following. Behind the two seats beats a raucous 698cc turbo-charged three-cylinder unit producing 45kW and 95Nm. Mounted transversely ahead of the back axle, it drives the rear wheels via a slow and jerky six-speed sequential clutchless manual. An ‘auto’ button was optional. Despite its size, the frugal Fortwo has proven strong and extremely safe, and includes airbags and ESP stability control as standard on all models. But part of its maker’s efforts to keep this car from tipping over was making the suspension rock hard. Only the two-door ‘hatch’ and soft-top Cabrio were offered in the 451.
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