Posts Tagged ‘smart’

Renault, Nissan and Daimler Join Forces to Develop EV for 2014

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Renault, Nissan and Daimler have announced their intention to bring a jointly-devloped EV (electric vehicle) to market by 2014. The new EV venture was announced by Renault and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche at a joint news conference at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Each partner is bringing something different to the project: Renault – Nissan will focus on engine technology, while Daimler’s focus will be the Lithium ion battery pack. Renault will base its version on the Twingo, whereas Daimler will be using the Smart model as its platform.

Daimler Renault-Nissan partnership to spawn EVs based on Smart and Twingo in 2014

This is one of the fruit of the strategic partnership that Renault – Nissan and Daimler inked back in April 2010, and which also includes development of small cars as well as shared engines.

Nissan CEO Ghosn also announced¬† a new small car to be based on Daimler underpinnings and to be launched in 2014 under its luxury Infiniti brand. Nissan predicts that the move to smaller luxury cars will continue and that by using Daimler’s platform, it will be able to achieve efficiency gains in the development process. It is thought that the basis of this new Infiniti model will be Damiler’s Mercedes B Class.

Source: Nikkei

Small Cars Are Safe Too

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, January 20th, 2011

There is a persistent myth that a car that is small is a car that is dangerous. Gordon Murray, the former F1 designer who is the brains behind the new T.27 city car and iStream manufacturing process knows that this is not true. Not only does his design greatly simplify the manufacturing process, reducing cost and environmental damage along the way, but it is also incredibly strong.

Despite diminutive dimensions, the T.27 passed the 35 mph full frontal crash test at MIRA with flying colors and zero cabin intrusion. When your car is so small and the space for crumple zones so limited, a result like this really does show the incredible strength of the vehicle.

It should not come as too much of a surprise when you remember that this technology is trickling down from F1. An F1 car is not big either, but has amazing strength to withstand impact and protect the driver. The 180 mph  crash below involving Gerhard Berger in 1989 was one I remember clearly. The viewers and commentators alike were convinced that he would not make it, but he did so without any long-term effects (mainly burns, rather than impact damage).

This is 1989 F1 technology in action, so it is not surprising that we can have a similar level of protection in 2011 in our affordable city cars. And, unlike this F1 car, the T.27 is designed to be an electric car, so there is no danger of nasty fuel conflagrations either.

But if you are still not convinced of the strength of modern small cars, take a look at Fifth Gear crashing this Smart head on into concrete at 70 mph. Not a survivable crash scenario in even larger cars, but notice how even on this older Smart, the passenger cell is intact.

Can we put the small-cars-are-dangerous argument to rest now?