Weighing in at 790 and 815 kg respectively, the latest additions to the Smart range in South Africa are roadsters in the truest sense of the word. But, affordable fun they are not.

Weighing in at 790 and 815 kg respectively, the latest additions to the Smart range in South Africa are roadsters in the truest sense of the word. They will be on showroom floors from next week, but the little cars cannot be classified as affordable fun, something most automotive scribes believed the Roadster was meant to be.

Nevertheless, this exclusive little number’s beauty lies in the simplicity of its design. Two-tone, as we expect from Smart, the flared wheelarches flow seamlessly into the front end of the car, which is spiced up further with the squarish fog lamps alongside the eleborate airscoop. On both models, the rear end looks sleek and almost futuristic.

The roadsters are powered by a 698 cm3 Suprex turbocharged three-cylinder engine producing 60 kW and maximum torque 110 N.m at 3 000 r/min. The manufacturer claims a top speed of 175 km/h and zero to 100 km/h time of 10,9 seconds.

Both models use a modified version of the sequential automated transmission used in the Smart city-coupé and cabrio. The sporty close-stepped ratios have been adapted to accommodate the increased engine power and vehicle performance, while the gear-change sequence was also optimised to feature a kick-down function for improved drivability.

In South Africa, the roadster comes standard with the sports package and includes a three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with F1-style rocker switch steering wheel gearshift. Keeping with the sporty character, the roadster will be kept on the road by 16-inch three-spoke “spikeline” light-alloy rims.

Other standard equipment includes the SOFTOUCH automatic transmission, sports seats, leather gear knob (with steering wheel shifting), and a service interval display to calculate and display change intervals depending on the oil used.

Standard too are fog lamps, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, air conditioning, front-loader CD and BOSE sound system, and a three-disc CD holder with an integrated drinks holder.

Four airbags are included, with the standard side airbags integrated into the seat backrests, offering maximum protection in the event of a side impact.

Options include heated leather sports seats, a six-disc CD changer and Radio / Navigation. The Smartware range of accessories will also enable the smart roadster customers to individualise the smart according to his/her own tastes.

For safety's sake, ESP, EBD and ABS are standard on both models. The front axles are equipped with McPherson struts with wishbones, while at the rear, the roadsters have DeDion suspension tubes with central mounts, wishbones and coil springs.

On the smart roadster, the fully automatic soft-top is made of a three-layer, rubberised textile fabric which reduces noise and is also provides effective heat insulation.

A first on the roadster is a rocker switch on the centre console that electrically opens the soft-top to any position, regardless of the vehicle's speed, and can be closed again at the touch of a button. The top can also be stowed in the rear luggage compartment within ten seconds.

Then consider the smart roadster-coupé, with its fully glazed fastback. This light-weight (10kg) glass fibre-reinforced polyurethane foam hard-top is removable, and can be stored in the rear luggage compartment in two pieces.

The smart roadster's Tridion safety cell is silver, while the body panels are available in four exterior colours: shine yellow, spice red, star blue and glance grey. The interior of the smart roadster is available in scribble black or scribble red, or in black leather at an extra charge.

The Smart roadster and Smart roadster-coupé will be available at the Smart centres in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg. They will retail at R206 000 and R209 000 respectively and are backed by the two-year manufacturer warranty with unlimited kilometres as well as a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.

The price includes a three-year/50 000 km Service Plan that covers all the scheduled services and service items.

Original article from Car