If you’ve been searching for a tiny electrically powered car with no doors, no rear window, and an open roof with a pair of electric skateboards on it, then Smart Automobile may have a solution for you.
Unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show last week, the Smart Fourjoy may be one of the auto industry's most unusual vehicles, even by the bizarre standards of the concept car. It includes a futuristic interior with a rear bench seat designed to look like lounge furniture, as well as transparent exterior parts and LEDs fitted to its front and rear lights.
The Fourjoy also features an all-electric powertrain. A 17.6-kWh lithium-ion battery drives a 55-kW permanent magnet electric motor. Smart says that it takes seven hours to charge the battery from a household socket, longer if a 120V line is used.
To accentuate its commitment to zero-emission driving, Smart incorporated hardware to fasten two so-called "longboards" to the Fourjoy's roof. "With these electrically driven skateboards it is possible to cover short distances in the city without producing any local emissions," the company said in a press release. Smart added that skateboard helmets can be stowed behind the seats and that a high-definition camera is available to film the skateboard adventures and share photos with friends on social networks.
Clearly, the Fourjoy was designed to deliver some buzz to Daimler's Smart division, and it's doing that. It's also serving as an experiment -- the first vehicle jointly developed in a partnership with French automaker Renault SA. Smart has not announced any specific plans to build the Fourjoy, but it has said that it will launch a similarly proportioned four-seater late in 2014. Renault is also reportedly working on its own version of the car, to be released sometime next year.
We've collected photos of the fanciful Fourjoy concept car. From LED lights and transparent panels to lounge chairs and pearlescent paintwork, we present some of the Fourjoy's most unusual and innovative concepts. Click on the image below to start the slideshow.
Daimler's Smart Fourjoy concept car has no doors, no rear window, and an open roof. Smart says it "dispenses with unnecessary ballast." (Source: Daimler)
Chuck, your story grounded my memories with a thud. You're right--we did put up with a lot of physical discomfort back then. I think I remember a friend driving the Safari on the beach with the windshield up--but no roof, no doors. Ah, youth!
Worry about rocks, cigarettes, bottles & tires. My time on a motorcycle is long over but I have been hit with a few small rocks. One cigarette butt and another flew past my helmet. Saw a semi truck tire bounding down the highway one morning. Looked like it missed everyone. My truck has taken two egg sized rocks to the windshield. Oh I went through a hail storm - that stung! Then there was the motorcyclist who followed my uncovered load of sand. He passed after a couple of miles. I could tell he was having problems.
I saw at the NAIAS 2013 the version of the car with roof and doors in a metallic orange color and was very eye catching. Also I saw the design student's concept cars with ideas like the one presented here (some for snowboarders), others for other sports or things, as if they were designing a car for themselves or specific niches. This Smart EV No Doors or windows, looks as an unfinished Smart, but it's only and will remain as concept car or be consider with bikes or golf cars, it would not pass NHTS safety for general use.
Volkswagen AG is developing a lithium-air battery that could triple the range of its electric cars, but industry experts believe it could be a long time before that chemistry is ready for production vehicles.
California’s plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isn’t the first such undertaking and certainly won’t be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.
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