Concept Car Of The Day: 1993 Smart Eco Speedster - AllCarIndex

Concept Car Of The Day: 1993 Smart Eco Speedster

May 11, 2024

Back in March of 1994 in Stuttgart, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the MCC (Micro Compact Car) concept, an ultra-compact city car that would revolutionize personal mobility. The MCC featured two powertrain options – the Eco-Sprinter with a 40 kW electric motor and rear-wheel drive, and the Eco-Speedster with a three-cylinder gasoline engine and rear-wheel drive.

One of the technical highlights of the MCC was its innovative interior space concept, despite its exterior length of just 2.50 meters. The underfloor engine and transmission design was later introduced in the smart city coupe (eventually renamed the smart fortwo) in 1998.

The inspiration for the MCC came from Mercedes-Benz's NAFA concept vehicle from the early 1980s, which aimed to optimize urban and short-distance transport. The NAFA concept featured a compact two-seater design with four-wheel steering, automatic transmission, and other modern amenities.

Although the NAFA concept was eventually forgotten by the public, Mercedes-Benz continued to refine the idea of a compact city car, resulting in the unveiling of the MCC. President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz AG, Helmut Werner, described the MCC as a project that combined pro-environmental design, emotion, and intelligence.

The MCC maintained the compact dimensions of the NAFA but also added fuel-efficient engines and modern features like air conditioning, power steering, and belt tensioners. The two-seater interior provided a sense of spaciousness despite its small size, making it ideal for navigating city streets.

In terms of safety, the MCC was a significant improvement over the NAFA, boasting unparalleled safety features for a car of its size. The underfloor location of the engine/transmission module provided added protection in the event of a collision.

Mercedes-Benz showcased two drivable versions of the Micro Compact Car at its debut in Stuttgart – the "Eco-Sprinter" with an electric motor and the "Eco-Speedster" with a gasoline engine. Both models featured innovative design elements and sustainable materials.

By 1998, the MCC had evolved into the smart city coupe, which later became the smart fortwo. With nearly 600,000 units produced, smart has solidified its place as a mature brand offering a range of compact and stylish city cars.

The legacy of the MCC lives on in the smart fortwo and other smart models, showcasing Mercedes-Benz's commitment to innovation and sustainable urban mobility.

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