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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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2015 smart spied testing in Death Valley

Same mules, different location...


2014 Smart ForTwo mule spied testing in Death Valley

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 09:52 AM
 
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 09:54 AM
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Have you ever seen a pretty mule?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Remember the mule body is a Frankenstein hack job using an old Renault Twingo shell. The parts under the camo are the only new body panels on the car and we can't really see those. Of course, the mule body is hiding the really new stuff: chassis, drivetrain, suspension, electronics, etc.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 05:36 PM
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Lightbulb Death Valley testing can only mean one thing: Air Conditioner

At least we now know for certain the battery is gonna be under the hood.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 06:00 PM
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If that's a shot of the Twingo mule interior then we don't really know anything yet - the 453 will have an entirely new structure (and Mercedes loves to place their batteries in the car's interior, for some reason.)
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 10:10 PM
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If this is a Twingo, then they're testing the Twingo's AC system in Death Valley because they're planning on importing the Twingo to USA?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 05:06 AM
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IT'S A TEST MULE FOLKS!!!!


What part of that isn't clear? Old body, new underpinnings. All the manufactures do it, they hack together all kinds of stuff to hide what they are doing. The only thing that would give us any clue is if we could see the drivetrain. That's pretty much production 453(hence why they are testing it). Other than that, it's all hacked and sliced just to give them something to drive. They aren't going to put a pre-production smart out on the road for everybody to see before press introduction.

It's really cool to see that they are testing it over here. Proof that smart is dedicated to this market. They are obviously putting a lot of miles on these mules to iron out the bugs in the drivetrain. I'm sure they are still tweaking ECM code to get the most bang for the buck, and make customers happy.

Don't want a fiasco like Jeep just had with the new Cherokee, they've delayed intro twice now because of powertrain ECM bugs... They actually have a lot full of them in Ohio at the production plant waiting for programming fixes before shipment to the dealer.

Definitely won't be buying a first year Jeep Cherokee...
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 07:12 AM
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This is not just a Mule (offspring of a male donkey and a female horse) but it is the BACKSIDE OF A MULE!

In this case, it is the offspring of a M-B smart and a Renault Twingo and being sterile, cannot reproduce in the current form . . .

The purpose of the body shell is to act as a vehicle to carry engine, transmission & suspension component development actions or THE MULE just carries the parts.

As for the comment about the Twingo interior shot - somewhere there is a Buck, a stationary mule, used for packaging and interiors and so on. Of course today this is enhanced by CAD tools and such.

As WhiteNBlack08 has suggested, that smart is doing testing in N.A. is a positive thing.

Below is the 1954 Corvette Duntov MULE. Known as EX-87, as Corvette evolved from the "Blue Flame" inline 6 to V-8 it once showed 163 MPH in testing . . .

Trivia question - WHY FIBERGLASS?

Considered to be revolutionary at the time, the outer body was originally made out of fiberglass, selected in part because of steel quotas left over from the war.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 09:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Pee-wee German View Post
If this is a Twingo, then they're testing the Twingo's AC system in Death Valley because they're planning on importing the Twingo to USA?
No ...

IF they are testing A/C, and there's no guarantee that they are, the components in the test mule are the components to be tested and it doesn't matter what vehicle they end up in. And it doesn't matter what the test mule looks like, as long as it is about the same weight and size and has the same air-flow characteristics through the A/C condenser ...

If the next Twingo uses the same A/C compressor and evaporator etc as the next smart (which is pretty likely, since they will be on the same vehicle platform) then the test mule will have those components in it being tested. But no inference can be made about exactly which production models will show up based on that test mule.
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