When the smart originally appeared on Canadian roads, it was 2.5-meter long and barely regarded as a real car. But its friendly face and decidedly urban ambitions allowed the smart to conquer the hearts of trendy drivers. So much so, actually, that 3,000 additional units had to be ordered on top of the 900 cars initially planned.
Even the biggest icons of modern art get older and, obviously, the smart had to revamp its look and improve its performance. For the time being, we cannot discuss any performance detail because the new smart won't make its official Canadian debut until August.
As for the design and concept, however, the microcar was largely modified. Still, only a keen eye can notice all the changes at first glance, unless you put both new and old models next to each other.
The new exterior dimensions represent the most striking evolution of the smart. Forget about doubling the length; this is still a true microcar any way you look at it. That said, the wheelbase was extended by 55 mm and the track was widened by 31 mm.
Small numbers? Wait until you see the interior, where the driver and passenger enjoy considerably more room than ever before. In addition, the cargo space is now 50 percent larger.
Let's get back to the outside. Among the changes for 2008 are two taillights instead of the traditional three, a slightly higher roofline, a flatter front bumper to ensure greater pedestrian protection and, more importantly, a small plastic hood that completely flips upward to allow the driver to fill up the windshield washer tank.