From the beginning of the smart 451 in early 2007 to mid 2010, both the double DIN factory
fitted stereo options were made by a company called Visteon. They were both good stereos.
On the left is the Radio 9, on the right is Radio 10.
Apart from the obvious silver accents around the screen and buttons on the Radio 10, the screen
of the Radio 10 had a higher resolution. The Radio 10 also had a 6 disc player built inside the unit.
The Radio 10 could play MP3 files direct from a CD. The Radio 9 was updated to add this feature.
The first incarnations of the Radio 9 would not play MP3 files from a CD.
However, from January 2008 the Radio was updated to play MP3 files from CD.
Both the Radio 9 and 10 had the same IO on the rear. The aerial connection was an ISO (press
stud style) connector. It used a standard ISO block for power and speaker outputs. Above
the 2 main ISO blocks was a set of 3 mini ISO connections, yellow, green and blue.
In these radios, only the yellow plug did anything useful. This was the input for
the audio input (iPod etc), sat nav and bluetooth audio for your mobile phone.
The list of connections can be found here.
If you want to buy a Visteon Radio 9 or 10 and see one on eBay etc but the seller doesn't
have a clue what he is selling (quite usual for car breakers), here is the info you need.
Here are 2 examples of the product information labels on the side of the radio.
The first number that starts A 451 820 is the smart part number, these change
regularly so don't rely on those. The important code is the one below that.
VP6***-18C815-** is a Radio 9 that will NOT play MP3s off a CD.
VP7***-18C815-** is a Radio 9 that WILL play MP3s off a CD.
VP7***-18C939-** is a Radio 10 with the 6 disc changer that plays MP3s
The important numbers are highlighted in orange.
The only other info we are concerned with is the date code in the bottom right corner.
VP6 Radio 9's are made up to 2007wk52 (last week of 2007).
VP7 Radio 9's are made from 2008wk01 (first week of 2008).
No, it's not just a case of the software. The PCB and CD drive are different.
Apparently not. I enquired with Visteon after smart stopped using their stereos (hoping
that they'd be angry and give loads of info out) but all the settings are coded in the factory.
No. The facelift 451 from September 2010 had a slightly redesigned dashboard and stereo
surround. The new stereo surround has a different shaped aperture so the Radio 9 & 10 won't fit.
(unless you retrofit the old dash and stereo surround but it's not worth the effort).
Even though Visteon have repair agents all over the world, they won't touch your OEM stereo.
The Radio 9 and Radio 10 will fit the smart ForFour.
You will have to mess around with the wiring a bit but nothing too hard.
Ask on the ForFour forum for more info.
Thanks to Phi H for this picture of the 451 Radio10 in a Forfour.