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Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Smart Forstars
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What is it? The company says that the “tongue-in-cheek name” is referring to the car’s glass roof, which “offers passengers a clear view of a starry sky or, via the video projector in the hood, [which] turns the car into a drive-in on wheels.”

Powered by a 60-kilowatt magneto-electric motor, the Smart forstars is said to have 100 lb.-ft. of torque and a top speed of 80 mph. It also has lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 17.6 kilowatt-hours of electric power.

But EV fans looking to save the world with this car should cool their green jeans: This car can be turned into your very own drive-in! All you need, according to Smart, is a flat wall for the car’s built-in projector’s media player (located in the hood) to show, arguably, the best car movie ever: “Bullitt” – but I’d also give props to “American Graffiti.” The system is operated via Bluetooth from an iPhone. The sound system has additional speakers built into the ventilation openings behind the doors. All you’re missing is the popcorn.

The company suggests that the forstars concept, with a longer wheelbase and wider track than the current Smart ForTwo, “offers a sneak peek into the future of Smart's design direction.”

CR's take: We weren’t crazy for how our gas-powered Smart ForTwo performed in our tests; it was slow, noisy, had an awful ride and one of the worst transmissions we’d ever driven.  Perhaps the forstars version will be good at something. Of course, that “something” is being parked and projecting a movie.

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