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Old 10-27-2009, 08:40 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Rallye - '98 Peugeot 106 Rallye
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Just had a read through this thread! I must say Damo I'm quite jealous - a Smart Roadster and a 2.4 JTD Alfa 156? Two cars with great fuel efficiency yet loads of fun and sound great too!

I'd just like to make a few queries/comments on things that have been mentioned so far.

Originally Posted by damo View Post
• Disconnected the Electric power steering
Interesting. Is that all that has to be done to remove power assistance from the Roadie? I know with hydraulic power steering it's a big faff involving removing the unit, changing belts and so on if you don't want to push the power steering motor around every time you steer. With an electrical system is it as simple as removing a fuse or something?

• Headlight covers from Big performance
Do you have an image of what these look like? I've always assumed the recessed lights wouldn't be too hot aerodynamically (though they're something I'd personally be prepared to put up with as the Roadie is fairly economical anyway)

Can't do (not worth it ££)
• Steel roadster 15 inch wheels with 175/185 section eco tyres. Also try to fit aerodynamic hub caps.
Does it cost that much for some original Smart steel wheels? Surely many owners are getting rid of these and replacing them with alloys. I actually really like the look of the steel wheels - they suit the car more than any of the alloys - though you do have the Coupe version and I think the steel wheels may look a little small for the car - they suit the non-Coupe Roadster very well though. They were standard equipment on the Roadster Light, which if I were ever to get a Roadie would be the model I'd want:

• Lightweight seats. Standard seats are 20kg each. x 2 is 40kg.
Best I've seen was on one of the Smart forums a while ago - an owner had fitted some of those sculpted carbon-fibre seats in, which weighed something ridiculous like 5kg each (or less)! Probably a bit pricey though...

My car, with the 205 section tyres, probably affects the fuel economy as much as the aero deficiencies put together. But financially (and aesthetically) it doesn’t make enough sense to change them for Roadster steel wheels.
Wow, 205 section tyres? Can't even imagine how much grip that thing has, it must weigh a hundred kilos less than my mk1 MX-5 on 195 section tyres and the Mazda has ridiculous levels of grip. I'd certainly be looking for some of the 15" wheels on narrower tyres - it'll improve your non-assisted steering, give you lower rolling resistance and you'll still have an abundance of grip.

Originally Posted by andylaurence View Post
Are they that bad? They could easily be covered with some vacuum-formed plastic as they're nearly all decorative.
Just a thought, but would it really be wise blocking up the air vents on a mid-engined car? The engine on the Roadster looks pretty tightly packed-in so it might benefit from getting better airflow.
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