The forgotten smart sports car: it was a real failure

The forgotten smart sports car: it was a real failure

Even if you think so, Smart has already tried to interpret the concept of a sports car in its own way. Unfortunately, it didn't go well.

The German company Smart has been the big champion in recent years One of the greatest revolutions Unprecedented in the automotive world, a true “heel-face turn” as the Americans say. In fact, the brand that was famous for its two-seater city cars or at least the four-seater version of the famous car, has now directed its production towards SUVs, a unique choice that we never expected from this brand.

Smart, even the best can make mistakes! (Canva) –

But the older ones among us remember well Which Smart always tried to get out of From his traditional stylistic canons. In fact, the German brand has put many cars on the road, in addition to the well-known classic Fortwo and Forfour. For example, in 2003 until 2005, it produced a convertible sports car, which, in any case, was not as successful as the two models we mentioned.

Plans to put what would later become on the road Smart roadster They came to life in 2000 but the car needed a few more years to be ready. It was a car in keeping with the Targa philosophy of the 1980s. However, it is a modestly powered engine, mated to a lightweight frame, weighing just 800 kilograms. A tried and tested recipe that customers never liked…

The model that did not convince

Even by smart car standards It was so small It has an overall length of less than three and a half metres, is cramped, has small 15-inch wheels and only two seats. The engine was a three-cylinder M160, almost the same as the Fortwo but with 62 horsepower, enough in theory to make the car agile and fast even with such reduced power. The car then had an electronic gearbox that was somewhat slow when shifting from one gear to another, as customers recall.

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Smart Roadster fails
Despite convincing introductions, the Roadster will be remembered as an economic failure (AutoScout) –

With only 43,000 units produced in two years before the project was suspended, despite its arrival From the Brabus version With a hundred horsepower engine which partly solved the problems of the basic model: the car also cost 20 thousand euros, a decidedly high figure for the time. A fun car to drive, with its advantages, but the market did not give it the desired response.

To go on a date As it often happens In cases of “failed” cars, the Smart Roadster has retaliated a little, since it is a sought-after model by collectors, also considering the small number of examples placed on the road. It's a shame that Smart never tried to build a similar car again, although given the project costs we can understand why.

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