Parking garages and lots tend to serve a purpose. Not a lot of architectural design and afterthought are put into them. They promise adequate housing for cars of all types with no aesthetic properties whatsoever. Yet, over the years there has risen from the ashes some incredibly innovative, interesting and often downright bizarre parking garage designs. Many attribute the trend to the growth of cities and the fast growing tech in transportation. Whatever the reason, here are some of the world’s more fascinating and, yes, stranger parking structures.
Smart Parking in Baltimore-Washington International Airport
Boasts over 13,000 parking spaces and they are all equipped with electronic sensors relaying data as to how many spaces are available. There are signs on each level that informs drivers how many parking spots are open with directions to each. Imagine all the time saved not searching for a parking space when you’re rushing for a flight.
Car Silos at the Autostadt
Located in Wolfsburg, Germany, Car Silos is an automotive themed amusement park that has a car museum, car factory tours, driving courses and an incredible 20 stories of car silos that can be seen 360 degrees. A lot of new car buyers actually prefer to pick up their vehicles here. They spend a day enjoying the park and after watch a robotic arm retrieve their car from the tower and bring it down with a guaranteed odometer setting of zero.
111 Lincoln Road
This Miami parking garage is as much sculpture and art as it is anything else. The brainchild of Swiss architects de Meuron and Herzog, there are retail shops, an ocean view rooftop restaurant and 300 car garage. Every level accommodates natural lighting. Open and airy, this one’s fascinating because, unlike a traditional mall, the retail shops were built around the parking garage as opposed to the other way around.
Umihotaru, the Floating Car Park
Built on an artificial island in Tokyo, Umihotaru is a parking lot and genuine tourist attraction. It was designed to look like a cruise liner and comes with all its amenities including cafes, shops and public art. There are panoramic views of the city. Taking three decades to complete, many drive and park here with the intent of spending the day at the lot.
The Smart Tower is actually a franchise with over 70 locations all over Europe. These garages are easily identifiable, not simply because the name is emblazoned across the top, but because of its sharp, unmistakable compact shape and its transparency, offering an almost light flow appearance. It’s an incredible thing to see at night.
Japanese architect Takuya Tsuchida decided to design a home in Tokyo that had a nine car garage. The catch would be one of those cars would always be visible in the living room. The mechanical platform gives the homeowner the option to switch out the cars that would be seen. Limited to a 2,000 square foot space, the garage sits on the ground floor with a modular living area sitting on top of it.
Robotic Parking Garage
Dubai likes its parking garages not simply innovative. They like them extravagant. With the capacity to handle 250 cars an hour, the Robotic Parking Garage looks simple enough from the outside. Once inside, you have access to a 765 vehicle facility. Automation ensures all the cars are stored with as much efficiency as possible. That makes it easy on the driver and saves lots of space.
Greenway Self Park
The designers here took the term ‘Windy City’ to heart when they engineered this structure. With a pair of clearly visible giant corkscrew wind turbines that go from the roof down to the street, the Greenway uses the city’s wind gusts to help power the Chicago facility. Portions of the harvested energy are used to power electric car charging stations located inside the parking garage.
Carousel Car Garage
Parking garages are generally engineered to maximize space. That’s why they’re built vertically. The Carousel eliminates all the off and on ramps, instead utilizing a tall and narrow stack infrastructure. The car is driven into a ramp on the ground level of the parking facility. It is then hoisted away to be stored vertically in an available space above.
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If you do not want to get stuck in traffic anymore then you should know that Smart has come with a very modern and interesting solution. They present the Forstars concept which is definitely very attractive and useful for those who want to move faster every day. This car has a modern video projector in the nostril but the most interesting part when it comes to it, is definitely represented by the giant outdoor speakers in the vents behind the doors.
If you shrink the wheels and if you strip away the concept tinsel, you are going to obtain the next Smart Car Fortwo. This incredible concept was unveiled at the Paris Show, in 2012 and it is a preview for a production car that is going to appear this year, in 2013.
The new car is going to replace the side speaker grilles with air intakes for its rear mounted engine. The engine is a new three cylinder one that Renault and Mercedes/ Smart created especially for this car. The concept was created with an 80bhp electric motor.
When it comes to the influence that Renault has on this car, the engine is not the only one that must be mentioned. This new car is going to use a platform that was developed by Mercedes and Renault. Smart is going to create a two seater in order to replace the Fortwo but both Smart and Renault are going to do longer four seaters too. As you can imagine we find this idea intriguing because it means that the next Renault Twingo and the next Smart Forfour are going to be rear engined.
Smart are definitely famous for their small and fast cars which are perfect for big cities with impossible traffic. If you want to find some better parking spaces and if you want to ensure that you are not going to need some amazing driving performances to move in traffic daily then this car is perfect for you. It is small, but extremely comfortable and easy to drive. This makes it the perfect car for a young man or even woman.
The price is a fair one for the features that this car offers and you can personalize it according to your preferences. Buying a car is a big deal and you should pay a lot of attention when you do that in order not to make any mistakes and to regret after a few months.
Smart has presented an interresting concept at the Paris Motor Show. Dubbed the Forstars concept, the vehicle has been described to be a Sports Utility Coupe. The aggressive new design and unusual on-board technology previews the company’s future styling language. Notable styling cues like the rounded front fascia, the large air intakes, glass roof and LED headlights combine perfectly with the concept’s overall muscular design.
Under the bonnet, the concept is motivated by an 82 HP – 60 kW electric motor with 135 Nm of torque. Connected to a 17,6 kWh lithium-ion battery, the not-so-fragile engine runs-up to a top speed of around 130km/h which is pretty sweet for a city car.
The interior of the Forstars Concept is relatively simple as some may say. It features a three-pod instrument cluster, white leather seats, painted trim and technology all-around. For example, the rearview mirror has been replaced by a smartphone which acts as a digital rearview display and integrated into the hood is a video projector which basically turns the car into a mobile cinema.
Back in 2002, Mercedes’s little Smart and the German tuner Brabus joined hands for the development of an evil-gremlin look-alike lineup of vehicles. The first models,the Brabus Coupe and Cabrio models, hatched the following year and since that moment, ten years have passed with over 50,000 customized vehicles running out into the world. The two brands went back to the drawing boards for the celebration of the temporal milestone and came up with a special edition version of the ForTwo that’s limited to only 100 units worldwide.
The little Smart ForTwo has been fitted with a new body kit. The safety cell, the front spoiler, side skirts and the bodypanels including the front grille and the door mirrors have been painted in liquid silver. Additional features include the titanium-coloured headlamp bezels, the red Brabus logos at the front and rear of the ForTwo, and the bespoke alloy wheels in matt grey with a red accent rim.
Under the bonnet we have the 101 HP turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine that offers a top speed of 155 Km/h and a sprint from 0 to 100 Km/h in 8.9 seconds.
The interior has been wrapped in black leather with red stitching and the trim parts are also painted red. We also have a flat-bottom Brabus steering wheel, a starter button integrated in the gearshift lever knob and a badge with the car’s serial number complete the look.
The Smart ForTwo comes standard with comfort and light packages, heated seats, electric power steering, LED daytime driving lights and an audio and navigation system.
Strangely enough, but I expected a more powerful gremlin.
Carlsson has just unveiled the world’s most expensive Smart, the Carlsson Smart Edition C25, an incredibly powerful and attractive version of the Smart ForTwo. The car tuners premiered a one of a kind Carlsson C25 with 750 HP! at the Geneva Motor Show a couple of months ago and this model is inspired from that show car.
The Carlsson Smart Edition C25 is powered by a twin turbo V12 Mercedes SL65 engine and will be produced in a limited run of just 25 units. Since this car is a lot faster than the standard ForTwo they had to replace the car’s springs, braking system an other parts to improve its handling at high speeds.
In terms of styling, this modified Smart received a couple of new aerodynamic elements for a more attractive look finished in gray, black and orange stripes. The car also got a new set of wheels with an orange lip to match the new exterior trim elements, new tires and also new Carlsson Smart LED daytime running lights.
Inside, the car received a new exclusive upholstery in a gray and orange theme and several new accessories such as pedals or hand brake handle.
The Carlsson Smart Edition C25 is priced at 50,000 Euros.
[Source: Carlsson via GTspirit]
Smart has released a special edition of their Smart ForTwo for the UK which was named ICE and will feature a couple of styling and equipment upgrades. The Smart ForTwo ICE will be produced in a limited run of just 200 units, 140 on petrol and 60 on diesel.
In terms of styling, the Smart ForTwo ICE received a panoramic sunroof, a set of 15″ Brabus Monoblock VII alloy wheels, a deep black body finish and a carbon fiber finish safety cell.
Inside, the limited ICE edition received a special leather trim and a new Pioneer entertainment system with iPod , IPhone and Mp3 connectivity, a two way speaker system and an active subwoofer.
The petrol version of the Smart ForTwo ICE will start form 10,495 GBP while the diesel model will have a starting price of 11,245 GBP.
Smart has released a special edition of their popular Smart Fortwo which was dubbed “Greystyle” thanks to its unique color theme inside and out. The Smart Fortwo Greystyle Special Edition features an exclusive matte dark grey paint job and comes with a new set of matching 15″ alloy wheels and contrasting yellow mirror caps.
Inside, Smart used the same color theme which is combined with dark-colored fabric and nappa leather upholstery with yellow accents and trim parts. This special Greystyle edition will also come with unique floor mats with the edition logo and a new Mp3/radio/CD as standard.
Customers who order the Smart Fortwo Greystyle Special Edition could also get other options such as electric power steering, heated seats, a lockable glove compartment and a smart sound system with MP3 interface. The Smart Fortwo special edition will be available as a coupe or a cabrio with a 71 HP petrol engine with start/stop technology for better fuel efficiency or with another petrol engine that delivers 84 HP.
The Smart Fortwo Greystyle Special Edition was already launched on the German market and is priced at 16,135 Euros.
Daimler has launched a special edition Smart Fortwo called Highstyle, a sylish, elegant and classy car characterized by high quality equipment, fine materials and an unusual appearance. The new Smart has exclusive paintwork in trendy chocolate brown metallic and sits on 12-spoke 15″ alloy wheels.
The Highstyle edition will come with a 71 HP or a 84 HP petrol engine and will be equipped with an automatic start/stop system as a standard which shuts down the engine when the vehicle is stationary, reducing fuel usage a lot. Inside, the car has a soft mixture of fabric and leather and this classy interior design demonstrates a young spirit and an open way of thinking and a confident style.
Among other features this Smart Fortwo Highstyle comes with softouch automatic gear program, electric windows, air conditioning with automatic temperature control and a panoramic roof with sunblind. The standard equipment also includes dashboard instruments, radio 9, electric power steering, heated seats, a lockable glove compartment and a smart sound system with a smart MP3 interface.
The new special edition also demonstrates the Smart Fortwo style when it comes to environmental friendliness and not only it fulfills the strict exhaust gas standard EU 5, but the 71 HP version is fitted with micro hybrid drive (mhd) as standard.
The Smart Fortwo Highstyle equipped with a 71 HP engine will cost €15,695 and the version equipped with a 84 HP engine will cost €16,195 (prices include VAT).
[Source: Smart Press Release]