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DaimlerChrysler: Smart tridion4 showcar

smart tridion4 show car Four seats, five doors - and a real smart too

The concept and the ultra-compact dimensions of the smart have established a new class of cars.


This is why many people think of the brand as a synonym for a short 2.5 metre car with room for two people. With the smart tridion4 show car which is being exhibited at the IAA in Frankfurt for the first time, the manufacturer is proving that it can also build cars with four seats and five doors, which nevertheless have all the typical features of the smart brand.

The smart designers have remained faithful to their characteristic one-box design for the smart tridion4 show car, which is just 365 centimetres long and 179 centimetres wide. The proportions of the compact car reflect its relationship to the City Coupé: the markedly short body overhangs and therefore maximized wheelbase of the smart tridion4 clearly show this relationship. The show car's height of 145 centimetres allows the driver and passengers to get in and out easily, and provides a good overview of the road traffic.

The smart tridion4 has an unmistakable face with high-mounted headlamps, and the typical air inlets and service grilles. The design and form of the rear end also show the characteristic signature of the smart design. The large glass tailgate with contoured rear roof spoiler and recesses for the high-mounted rear lamps characterize the picture here.

Typical smart: bicolour body and two materials

Like the City Coupé and the Cabrio, the body design of the smart tridion4 is characterized by the use of two colours and two materials: steel for the TRIDION safety cell and plastic for the body. It is typical smart that the surface of the chassis cell serves as an outer skin in the area of the A and C-pillars, the roof pillars and door sills. The front, rear, wings and doors are clad with deformable, scratch-resistant plastic panels in the typical smart manner. In addition to the high safety demands of the concept, the emphasis here is on high robustness for everyday use, easy repairs at a low cost and a wide variability of styles.

Like previous show cars, the smart tridion4 is also based on a colour concept consisting of matt-finished body panels and a TRIDION safety cell with a gleaming surface. In this case the stylists chose a pearlescent white for the plastic parts and titanium grey for the steel chassis. The dynamically contoured front and rear spoilers have a matt, rough grey structure. Bright yellow door handles provide a colour contrast. The large glass areas have a blue tint and create a friendly, light atmosphere in the interior. In a very smart-like way, the smart tridion4 also has a glass roof which spans the whole roof area.

One of the principles of smart design, namely giving the individual functions formal independence, also becomes obvious in the design of the interior. For example the speedometer and the revcounter are positioned directly above the steering column in separate round cases. The horizontal struts of the door structure serve as armrests for the driver and passengers. The top part of the instrument panel functions as an air duct for the air-conditioning system. A round aluminium frame forms the centre console, and this accommodates the information and audio equipment, plus further secondary functions.

Rear bench as a lounge sofa

The white leather seating system of the smart tridion4 is an excellent example of an innovative and functional detailed solution. When the backs of the front seats are folded down towards the front with a few deft movements the seating is turned into a lounge sofa in next to no time. The seat backs are padded and covered with leather. They fit together with the rear seat bench to make a veritable seating landscape. The seat backrests continue to the sides to the interior door trim.

smart travellers can comfortably put their feet up and relax on this lounge after a long time on the road. The multimedia system in the centre console provides additional comfort. In addition to navigation graphics, pictures from a television or a DVD player can also be displayed on this screen if desired. A sound system creates the desired acoustic background. Beverage holders are planned within reach of the passengers on the flush-fitted centre tunnel, and the designers at smart have created a special bottle for this and glasses to go with it.


September 30, 2004

photos: Automotive Intelligence

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