Smart Car Safety
The Smart Car has a unique appearance -- it looks almost like a cube on wheels, with the front edge trimmed down. However, that high length-to-width ratio helps the Fortwo corner with a greater degree of stability. The Smart Car's designers also gave it a three-cylinder engine that provides enough power because the car only weighs about 1500 pounds (the updated version of the Fortwo, slated for a 2008 release, will have different stats). It's easily one of the lightest four-wheeled vehicles on the road. '
One of the major problems with very small, light automobiles is that they can be unsafe in a collision. The Smart solution is the Tridion steel safety shell. This hemispherical steel "cage" encloses the interior of the car and also forms the bulk of the Smart's chassis. A small energy-absorbing crumple zone at the front of the car lessens impacts, and the engine lives in the trunk of the car instead of the front. While a 1,500-lb. car will never be as safe for the occupants as a larger vehicle, the Tridion shell holds up remarkably well in crash tests. A 70 mph crash test conducted by British TV show "Top Gear" revealed that the Smart Fortwo's body remained mostly intact when compared to that of a conventional subcompact car. A sudden deceleration from 70 mph will cause injury of the occupants in just about any vehicle.