NIGHT PROWLER: A Wheels24 reader out late on January 12 spotted this tiny creature in the dark streets of Parkhurst - the next Smart on Highveld testing. Image: Wheels24 / A Reader
Moonlit January night in Johannesburg and a Wheels24 reader was on his way home from a function. Take a look at what he spotted...PS: It was quite dark, so apologies for the poor quality. (We kinda fixed that.)
Nope, not an hyena or a taxi obeying the speed limit despite the hour but a tiny tan new Smart car, the range that's only due in South Africa around the end of 2015. Here's what our night-owl lensman had to tell us...
'Hi Guys, I saw this yesterday on my way back from a function in Parkhurst, Johannesburg. The new Smart was connected to all manner of computers and was left-hand drive."
TWO SMARTS, TWO ENGINES
It also, as you can see, had what looks like a German registration plate.
"I guess they're testing it prior to its local introduction," our prowling friend said. "I'm not sure if this is at all relevant to you, but if you want to use it please feel free - but don't identify me - just call me "an avid fan from Johannesburg. :)"
The Smarts for SA will be ForTwo and revived ForFour models, the former (of which this was one) only 2.6m long but 1.6m wide and 1.5m tall with a 1.8m wheelbase. The ForFour has the same width and height but 3.4m long with a wheelbase of 2.4m to accomodate four people and a 975-litre boot - if the optional reversible cushions are specified.
Each will be powered by either a 999cc or a turbocharged 898cc engine - both of them three-cylinder. The first makes 52kW/91Nm, the turbo 66kW/135Nm and drive a five-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Anybody else spot the little critter and take pictures? Why not email them to us?
Read more about the coming cars.