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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...what a VW Beetle drives like, and how it compares to a Smart Car. It's been 40 years since I've driven a Beetle, and my memory dims. I do recall that the VeeDub was slower, and needed to be downshifted on hills, and wasn't as agile in it's handling, and was a lot twitchier in crosswinds. Seems that it struggled to reach 70mph, whereas my Smart likes to cruise at 70.
Similar cars in many ways, but they highlight the advances in automotive technology in half a century.
Another comparison: who has driven a BMW Isetta recently? I drove a family friend's in the '60s, but don't remember much. The Isetta seems like it would be a better comparison than the Iconic VW Beetle.

--Bill
 

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To us the Smart car is the VW Bug of the 21st Century. We've always been attracted to "unique" cars. We had three different Beetles over the years and our expoerience with them is probably the reason we now have three Smart EV's. As for the driving experience, the Smarts are easily a much safer and more comfortable ride.

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I remember my college friends Bug. We rode in in everywhere. Would hold for adult men comfortably. Something the smart car can’t do. Lots of beer runs in. It was slow, but who cares back then. VW sold 100 of thousand of the car.It was the prefect second car, in the suburbs. It was a cheap first car, for high school kids. That weren’t ashamed to drive It.

The car, was simple to work on. You could drop remove the engine, less then 30 minutes. No nonsense electronics anywhere in that car. It even was equipped with a spare tire, and a ice scraper, to scrape the front inside windshield. In the winter.

Replacement VW beetle parts today are in abundance. Repair shops too. Not so with the smart car.

I really love my little car. I‘m sorry to say this. The only thing the smart car and bug have in common. Is the rear engine. The VW beetle is a vehicle icon, in automotive history. The smart car, will go down here in history. Like the Pacer, Vega, Edsel, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll agree, the Beetle is a technological and cultural Icon. But we're in the midst of the Smart revolution, so it's hard to say where it's going. It delends on how successful the Smart EV line becomes. And the longevity of the Gas Smarts will depend on third-party tech support and parts.
 

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I'll agree, the Beetle is a technological and cultural Icon. But we're in the midst of the Smart revolution, so it's hard to say where it's going. It delends on how successful the Smart EV line becomes. And the longevity of the Gas Smarts will depend on third-party tech support and parts.
They is no 3 party support. Never will be. Here’s new smart car revolution. This is the brand new
pathway for the smart brand
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Never could get my head around a beetle, especially the last ones made with the plastic vase on the dash for a flower, I mean would a man ever drive a car with a flower on the dash? :D

As for that hellish electric Smart(hashtag)1 thing shown in photo above, it is definitely not what Smart was all about. $35000 and its just got steel wheels with plastic rims, pathetic. It is definitely not for existing smart owners. Smart is now dead, so enjoy the 453, 451 and 450, as they are the last of the real Smarts.
 

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A little over a year ago I got to rally this Bug through California desert:

Tire Sky Car Wheel Vehicle


I would agree that the only thing that a Beetle and a Smart have in common is a rear engine. Aside from that, they couldn't be any more different. Driving an old Beetle is an analog experience; there are no computers, no technological wizardry, just you and the little car that continues to move much of the world today. Indeed, like Smark says, the Beetle could be repaired by just about anyone, and I know they take well to bodge fixes, too! A little off on the production, though. VW sold 21.5 million Beetles by the time production finally ended.

Car Vehicle Window Motor vehicle Steering part


And that's fine! The Smart was never designed to be an affordable car for the people. Nicolas Hayek envisioned tiny electric city cars that were as trendy as Swatch watches. Of course, MB initially ditched the electric concept, but kept the idea of a trendy city car, then evolved it from there. And today's Smart SUVs are so far from the original concept that the only thing "smart" about them is the badge.

I think the closest an automaker in the modern day got to the original concept of the Beetle was the Tata Nano. But instead of marketing the Nano as a car for the people, Tata marketed it as the world's cheapest car. As Tata found out, there are only so many people who want to buy something known as the cheapest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A little over a year ago I got to rally this Bug through California desert:

View attachment 72756

I would agree that the only thing that a Beetle and a Smart have in common is a rear engine. Aside from that, they couldn't be any more different. Driving an old Beetle is an analog experience; there are no computers, no technological wizardry, just you and the little car that continues to move much of the world today. Indeed, like Smark says, the Beetle could be repaired by just about anyone, and I know they take well to bodge fixes, too! A little off on the production, though. VW sold 21.5 million Beetles by the time production finally ended.

View attachment 72757

And that's fine! The Smart was never designed to be an affordable car for the people. Nicolas Hayek envisioned tiny electric city cars that were as trendy as Swatch watches. Of course, MB initially ditched the electric concept, but kept the idea of a trendy city car, then evolved it from there. And today's Smart SUVs are so far from the original concept that the only thing "smart" about them is the badge.

I think the closest an automaker in the modern day got to the original concept of the Beetle was the Tata Nano. But instead of marketing the Nano as a car for the people, Tata marketed it as the world's cheapest car. As Tata found out, there are only so many people who want to buy something known as the cheapest.
A little over a year ago I got to rally this Bug through California desert:

View attachment 72756

I would agree that the only thing that a Beetle and a Smart have in common is a rear engine. Aside from that, they couldn't be any more different. Driving an old Beetle is an analog experience; there are no computers, no technological wizardry, just you and the little car that continues to move much of the world today. Indeed, like Smark says, the Beetle could be repaired by just about anyone, and I know they take well to bodge fixes, too! A little off on the production, though. VW sold 21.5 million Beetles by the time production finally ended.

View attachment 72757

And that's fine! The Smart was never designed to be an affordable car for the people. Nicolas Hayek envisioned tiny electric city cars that were as trendy as Swatch watches. Of course, MB initially ditched the electric concept, but kept the idea of a trendy city car, then evolved it from there. And today's Smart SUVs are so far from the original concept that the only thing "smart" about them is the badge.

I think the closest an automaker in the modern day got to the original concept of the Beetle was the Tata Nano. But instead of marketing the Nano as a car for the people, Tata marketed it as the world's cheapest car. As Tata found out, there are only so many people who want to buy something known as the cheapest.
Agreed, except for general characteristics, the VW and the Smart are far removed. In most characteristics the Smart is a better vehicle and is certainly a joy to drive. The challenge will be to keep it enjoyably running for the next few years.
 

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The original VW beetle was the longest produced single platform ever made.
over 21,529,464 units. Wow.

Who cares about a flower vase, in the 2nd generation bug. It was just for marketing!
The front wheel drive 4 passenger vehicle was an instant hit. A very practical one, over the smart car.

Putting silly eyebrows on a smart car head lamps, sure doesn’t make it a manly vehicle. Very cutie.
Same with fake air vents, spoilers etc.
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Me and my friends would do the punch buggy a lot.
Haven’t driven the bug but it likely would be similar driving experience aside from the era differences between them.
Especially since both are rear engine rear wheel drive.
The “new” bug was front engine front wheel drive too(also first with a diesel)
The new new bug was a throwback style.
Seen many but never driven one.
Hopefully the smart gets a good aftermarket parts following to keep the cars going for a long time(of course there’s engine swaps)
 
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