20 years of Smart.


Celebrating 20 years of Smart.

Smart is celebrating its 20th birthday, and a vision that has gradually become reality: it has been a long journey from the initial design concept through the first smart. Discover the journey below.

The smart fortwo was radically different from the beginning: not just as a car, but as an electrically driven, urban mobility concept. In addition to environmental and resource-saving, highly customizable and affordable for everyone. The history of electric mobility from smart not only goes back a long way - It also shows the way to the future with the new electric family. For today, all smart models are electrified and are once again ahead of the time.

Illustration shows special models.




Bigger is better? 1981 Daimler published a vehicle study "NAFA" ( NA hverkehrs FA hrzeug), an extremely compact city car that not only offered capacity in a small space, but also problems such as lack of parking and should solve crowded streets. At just 2.50m in length and 1.50m in height and width, the "NAFA" showed a whole new dimension of thinking. An idea that sounded as good as it does today. And from this the tridion safety cell saw the light of day.


We want to see that.

Some innovations need a bit of time to really get them started. Video recorders, for example: When AT & T introduced the widespread Video Phone 2500 in 1992, the company found that the mass of people who wanted to spend $ 1599 on it was not that big.

In the same year, the newly founded Micro Compact Car AG, a joint venture of Daimler-Benz and the Swatch inventor Nicolas Hayek, presented their first prototypes: for two people, electrically driven, ultra-compact, ultra-innovative. Today every smartphone is a videophone. And tomorrow every smart is an electric?




A question of size.

The construction of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai has created a hotel of superlatives. Size, shape, location in the sea, luxury in excess - no wonder it got seven stars. The world had never seen anything like that before.

Expectations were also exceeded in the development of the smart. Because this year, Micro Compact Car AG presented two prototypes: the Eco-Speedster and the already elec- trically powered Eco-Sprinter.



Being there is everything.

Megacities are booming - more and more people are living together in ever smaller spaces. Between 1976 and 1996, the number of megacities rose from 5 to 14: a development that made the question of new mobility solutions ever louder.

The answer came in 1996 during the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. In this relatively manageable city, the world gathered for a summer and got to see the predecessor of the smart EQ fortwo for the first time.



Technology for Mars and humans.

Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures - for example completely new vehicles. The "Sojourner" reconnaissance vehicle, which sends the space probe "Pathfinder" on Mars, does not have much in common with a car. After all, it had to master quite different challenges.

The cars, which are presented by the Micro Compact Car AG at the IAA, also had little in common with the products of the competition. Eco-Sprinter and Eco-Speedster are consistently designed for the city and ahead of its time: providing solutions while others are still recognizing the issues.



Everything's so colorful here.

The year 1998 is a perfect example of the power of innovative, bold ideas. Until this year computers looked as exciting as the tax returns that were created on them. Then Apple came and introduced the iMac: colorful, friendly, completely different than anything you'd ever seen and consistently focused on usability.

In the same year, the smart fortwo (then called the smart city coupe) celebrated its market launch: colorful, happy, unlike anything else it had ever seen and consistently geared towards user-friendliness. Two ideas that show perfectly what is possible, if one understands the status quo not as an obstacle, but as a challenge.



Ready for take-off.

It's time for new horizons: American Steve Fossett sets a new world record with 42,467 kilometers of non-stop flight. But he is not the only one who thinks mobility a bit further than others.

The electric smart fortwo celebrates its world premiere at the British International Motor Show in London. By the way, under the name of smart fortwo ev for "electric vehicle". With the 30 kW / 41 hp electric motor and the ZEBRA high-energy battery, the smart fortwo ev achieves a range of 110 km and a top speed of 120 km / h with one battery charge. The battery is designed for at least 1,000 charging cycles or ten years.



The top 100.

On the Times list of the 100 most influential figures of 2007, alongside popular and powerful regulars, there was also a true lateral thinker: Lisa Randall, a theoretical physics scientist at Harvard University. Together with other physicists, she has discovered that there are many more besides the three dimensions we know in the universe.

A special place was also occupied by the 100 test drivers who were selected in London that same year to drive one of the very first smart electric drive as a leasing model. The electric pioneers were not only freed from the London toll, but experienced the future of mobility as the first themselves. And thus penetrated into a new dimension.



The best start of the year.

2009 was a good year for television. Many new series are developed, filmed and broadcast. One thing stands out: with the premiere of the comedy series "Modern Family", not only was a permanent performer created at all major award shows, but with the format of the mockumentary an innovative series concept - half series, half interview.

And 2009 was also a good year for smart: The brand is the first major European automaker to launch series production of an electric vehicle in the smart plant in Hambach



What drives smart.

In 2012 there is confusion about the seal of origin "Made in Germany". The reason is the alleged consideration of the EU to award the seal of quality only in certain circumstances. Special technology from German companies enjoys a very high reputation worldwide.

Instead of discussing, Daimler AG once again implements the quality label "Made in Germany": the new generation of the electric smart is powered by highly efficient lithium-ion batteries from the Daimler subsidiary ACCUmotive from Kamenz in Saxony - with great success. For three years in a row, smart remains the market leader among manufacturers of battery electric vehicles.



An innovation seldom comes alone.

In 2013 Daimler caused quite a stir twice: with the largest car in the portfolio and with the smallest. The Mercedes-Benz S500 Intelligent Drive set a milestone with the first fully autonomous drive over city and country. The S-Class drove around 100 kilometers without intervention by the driver - including city traffic. The smart for jeremy, designed by Jeremy Scott, an extravagant fashion designer with a penchant for wings, shows that the combination of elegance and innovation can take many forms. The electrically powered showcar with fiberglass wings set the subject of electric mobility in a completely new light. In a slightly modified version of the two-seater came even as a special model on the market.



"I love it." Jeremy Scott


smart opens a whole new chapter.

At the Paris Motor Show in the autumn of 2016, the smart fortwo, smart fortwo cabrio and smart forfour with electric drive celebrated their world premiere. This not only makes smart the only car manufacturer to offer its entire range of models electrically - the smart fortwo cabriolet is also the only electric cabriolet worldwide.



It remains exciting.

The urban mobility concept from smart has become so networked and so intelligent that drivers have long since stopped driving. The vehicle can be shared via smartphone, parking spaces searched online and important vehicle functions controlled via the app. The smart electric drive models will become the smart EQ fortwo and forfour models in 2018. Discover a new, better and smarter form of urban mobility.



Smart in 20 facts


A lot has happened in 20 years – high time to take stock with precisely 20 facts.