By Fabrizio Panico
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.
A “smart” family
The “smart” history (lower-case only) is too well-known to need re-telling in detail, suffice to remember the many tentative initial steps, from the Swatchmobile idea to the initial agreement with Volkswagen, to the deal with Daimler Benz and the birth of the joint company MCC (Micro Compact Car AG), then the start of production and the final buy-out by Daimler-Benz, becoming “smart GmbH” and then a Mercedes-Benz Cars division of Daimler AG. Perhaps less known are the origin of the “smart” name (Swatch Mercedes ART) or of its emblem, a “c” and an arrow (respectively for “compact” and “forward thinking“).
From the start the promotional miniature side was well catered for: in 1:18 scale Maisto and Kyosho were able to present the full production, from the City-coupè (C450) to the City-cabrio (A450), even the Brabus and Crossblade variants, the models often including double plastic body panels, so you could change panels on the model just like the real car.
Kyosho reproduced the Roadster-cabrio (C452) and the Roadster-coupè (R452), and the first Forfour (W452) even in different versions like the Pulse or the Passion. Minichamps reproduced the 2007 second generation : fortwo (C451) and cabrio (A451). For the 2014 iteration (third generation) Renault was to share its Twingo platform with the new forfour, and it was Norev’s time to present the new fortwo coupè (C453), fortwo cabrio (A453) and forfour (W453) scale models, this time with standard Mercedes-Benz code numbers (B6 696 xxxx).
Here are the third generation smart cars in pictures and data, nice models, accurate representations of the real cars, but strangely lacking any safety belts ! The double bodypanels have been skipped, but a small screwdriver and a dust cloth are now present.
fortwo coupé (C453) 2014
B6 696 0280 white + lava orange (passion edition #1)
B6 696 0281 titanium + black (passion version)
B6 696 0282 midnight + white (proxy version)
fortwo cabrio (A453) 2014
B6 696 0289 yellow + black
B6 696 0290 titanium + silver
B6 696 0291 white
forfour (W453) 2014
B6 696 0298 graphite + lava orange (passion version)
B6 696 0299 hazel + black (prime version)
B6 696 0300 cadmium + black (prime version)
We welcome your comments and questions. Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page, or email us at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.