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1982 Mercedes-Benz Nafa

Mercedes-Benz Nafa, 1982
Mercedes-Benz Nafa, 1982
Mercedes-Benz Nafa, 1982
Mercedes-Benz Nafa, 1982
Mercedes-Benz Nafa, 1982
Mercedes-Benz Nafa, 1982
Mercedes-Benz Nafa, 1982
Mercedes-Benz Nafa, 1982
Mercedes-Benz Nafa, 1982
Mercedes-Benz Nafa, 1982
Mercedes-Benz Nafa, 1982
Mercedes-Benz Nafa, 1982
Images: DaimlerChrysler
Rating:  4    -17    +21
Short-distance vehicle (NAFA) - Short on size, big on ideas.

Study of an urban and short-distance vehicle with Mercedes breeding.

Four-wheel steering, automatic transmission and air conditioning all part of the package.
They called it the "snack trolley". Short and sweet and perched on its narrow tyres, it quickly became somewhat of a talking point. "A Mercedes which is only 2.50 metres long? What’s it for, carrying sandwiches?" sneered the sceptics who gave it its nick-name. "At last, a car which is perfect for city driving," praised its supporters.

It was the summer of 1982. The mini-car which had been developed by the research engineers at DaimlerChrysler was officially titled "Short-distance vehicle" but was affectionately known by its German abbreviation - NAFA – for short. An automotive study with front-wheel drive and two seats that packaged together ideas for an innovative city car with Mercedes-Benz flair which the manufacturer also intended to offer in an extended three or four-seater version.

The only reason the study did not make it to the factory production line was that it simply could not match up to the car maker’s strict safety criteria which place occupant protection at the top of the list of priorities. In order to overcome this hurdle, ingenious new ideas were needed which only materialised many years later in the form of the sandwich concept in the A-Class and the passenger safety cell in the smart.

On the plus side, however, the NAFA’s short dimensions endowed it with supreme manoeuvrability in even the tightest spaces, and parking would never be a problem again either. Slots of around just four metres in length were quite sufficient for its miniature proportions, with the four-wheel steering meaning that it could be guided into spaces forwards too. The NAFA boasted an array of further features which made it perfectly compatible with the demands of city driving: a low waistline, high seating position and expansive windows affording an optimum allround view.

There were also sliding doors offering effortless access even when parked up close to other cars or garage walls, while the ingenious dimensional concept ensured occupants enjoyed sufficient levels of comfort and freedom of movement despite the body’s short length. Automatic transmission, power steering, air conditioning, belt tensioners plus other features you would expect to find in a Mercedes were all intended to make short-distance motoring safer and altogether more enjoyable.


Большинство из нас не связывают бренд Mercedes с крошечными городскими автомобильчиками. А как же Smart? Видите ли, идея Smart не свалилась с потолка. На самом деле Mercedes уже давно экспериментирует с ситикарами, и самый интересный из них – концепт NAFA 1982 года, напоминающий папамобиль из сегмента кей-каров.

NAFA – это немецкая аббревиатура, означающая что-то вроде «машины на короткие дистанции». В 1982 году Mercedes почему-то решил, что им срочно нужно придумать что-то для поездок по городу, и в результате на свет появилась эта «коробка».

На самом деле у машины достаточно умный дизайн. Конечно, люди обидно называли ее «тележкой для закусок», но просто послушайте, какие опции были у этой штуковины: рулевое управление всеми четырьмя колесами (чтобы успешно маневрировать внутри обувного магазина), сдвижные двери, автоматическая трансмиссия, кондиционер и плексигласовый «купол», покрывающий всю заднюю часть автомобиля. Примерно в таком же прозрачном «террариуме» возят Папу Римского.

Требования по безопасности помешали Mercedes превратить NAFA в серийную модель, но это не значит, что немецкий концерн сдался. В 1994 году вышел их следующий городской концепт MCC, с которого и был списан Smart.

Кто знает: если бы история развивалась по-другому, то у каждого из нас сейчас был бы шанс купить персональный мини-папамобиль.
Source: DaimlerChrysler; autoutro.ru
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