The introduction of the smart roadster confirms DaimlerChrysler's commitment to developing the smart brand.
How It Looks -
The introduction of the smart roadster confirms DaimlerChrysler's commitment to developing the smart brand. The smart family resemblance is clearly visible with a characteristic TRIDION safety cell, radiator grille, integrated headlight units and rear light cluster - in our opinion the roadster is not dissimilar to Porsche's 914/16 sports car of the 1970's. The short body overhangs, pronounced wheel arches, wide wheels and low height accentuate the roadster's stunning looks.
The body panels are made of high-quality plastic this means that they are flexible, resist minor knocks, don't rust, are recyclable and should look good for a long time. However, if a panel does need to be replaced the modular bolt-on/bolt-off design means that it can easily be replaced with the minimum of fuss. This body panel system is an innovation exclusive to smart.
The Spikeline 16" alloy wheels with 205/45 R16 tyres were part of the optional Sport package our test car featured which enhanced the looks of the roadster and offered improved road holding ability (if that is possible for such a superb handling car).
The roadster is equipped with a standard electrically operated soft top. For a more open top feel when the roof has been fully retracted simply remove the side roof bars and store them in the front luggage compartment.
How It Looks - Interior
The roadster's design-led interior stays faithful to smarts philosophy of minimalist fun. The air vents look like Darleks and both the turbocharger boost pressure and engine temperature gauges appear like periscopes popping up from the dashboard.
The overall build quality of the cabin is very good with chunky tactile switchgear and leather steering wheel and gear knob. The 'scribble red' seat fabric was made of a nylon type material which also covered the door inserts and passenger side dashboard area - we concluded that it would hitch in the long term. The optional leather covered seats would in our opinion prove more durable.
smart roadster Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||smart roadster|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||10.9 seconds|
|Top Speed||109 mph|
|Transmission||SOFTOUCH automatic transmission (incorporating SOFTIP sequential 6-speed transmission) and steering wheel gearshift|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||65.7 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||2-years/unlimited mileage warranty|
6-year warranty against corrosion perforation from the inside
|Price (when tested on the 31/01/04)||£ 13,500|