Just like its predecessor, the current generation smart fortwo's body is almost all plastic body panels mounted around an exposed, rigid steel frame. That rigid frame is responsible for two major things in the smart fortwo. First, it makes the car as safe as a much bigger one in the event of a major impact, and second, it defines any smart's color. To make this second statement more easy to comprehend, learn that the smart fortwo comes in only two official colors, regardless of what your eyes are telling you. For example, our test car wasn't white, as one would assume from the pictures, but silver.
The explanation for this is that the fortwo's safety cell comes in either of two colors, black or silver. Interestingly, pretty much every body panel on the little car is made from interchangeable plastic with the paint injected into it, which you can switch by yourself, therefore changing the car's overall color.
Other than this rather unexpected trivia, the smart's technical bits are at least just as interesting. Pretty much everything about this car screams quirkiness, and we're not necessarily talking about its design now. For example, the engine doesn't sit in the front, like on 99.86 percent of little cars out there, but in the rear, just under the luggage compartment. The five-speed robotized (and bad, very very bad) manual transmission also goes in there.
These design solutions make it so the fortwo has probably the shortest overhangs in the world, of any car, thus increasing interior space to ludicrous numbers, especially compared to how tiny the exterior size is. Of course, there isn't that much space under the trunk for a big engine, so our test car had to do with a one-liter, three-cylinder engine, which delivers 71 horsepower and 92 Nm (67.9 lb ft) of torque. Having to carry a mass of only 750 kilograms (1653 pounds), the 71 hp fortwo achieves 100 km/h (62 mph) in 13.3 seconds, which is, of course, not that fast. The 0-50 km/h (30 mph) on the other hand, which is what counts in the city, is more than respectable at under 4 seconds.Continue reading