Mercedes has had stick in the past for playing with its ‘Toy Car’, the Smart. What was a quality maker like Mercedes doing involved with a car the size of the boot on an S Class Mercedes and named after a watch maker (the name stands for Swatch Mercedes Art)? Don’t get me wrong; there was always going to be a market for a car designed to park ‘nose-in’ in busy European streets, but its seemed like Mercedes was stretching itself too thin at a time when it was suffering a big loss in the reputation it had for building high-quality machinery.
But sitting here in 2009, it looks like Mercedes had a crystal ball back in 1994 when the Smart car was conceived. Which of us knew then that by 2009 even the Americans would be rushing in to Micro Cars in a worldwide wave of Eco desire?
But it’s not been an easy journey – far from it. Smart is now owned completely by Mercedes after being virtually bankrupt after sustaining losses of some €4 billion in the period up to 2006. Ouch!
But now the world has caught up with the Smart, and Mercedes look ready to milk the project for all they can – justifiably so after keeping the faith for more than a decade.
So we are to be treated to another limited edition Smart -The Smart Edition Limited Three – which will launch – you’ve guessed it – at Geneva ’09.
Presented in a Spring-like hue – Melon Green Metallic – which is combined on the inside with brown plastic (sorry – leather-effect detail!) – to carry the ‘Nature’ theme on. Available as either a cabriolet or coupe, the ‘edition limited three’ also get Smart’s Micro Hybrid Drive, which is Smart-speak for Start/Stop technology.
The edition limited three comes with an auto ‘box and a decent amount of kit, including electric windows and aircon, and the coupe gets a panoramic roof. The coupe offers emissions of just 104g/km (if only they’d squeezed that a tad it would have been a VED freebie) and 64mpg .
Prices in Germany (VAT inclusive) start at €15,470 for the coupe and €18,510 for the cabrio.