Europe receives the Smart Fortwo with Micro Hybrid Drive starting October 2008 and a BEV in 2010!
Wayne Gerdes - CleaanMPG
- July 11, 2008
2008 Smart Fortwo in NY City’s Times Sqaure
On July 2, 1998, a concept vehicle concept rolled off the assembly line for the very first time. The Smart Fortwo was born. Through today, the compact two-seater has become the vehicle of choice of more than 900,000 customers in 37 countries. The Smart Fortwo soon reached cult status and is the only automobile which is still in production to be displayed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Since the beginning of 2008 the Smart is now available in the US and starting in 2009, it will also be available in China. For 2010 the first Smart Eelectric Drive (ED) of the current vehicle is planned.
Smart sales approaching the one million mark
In the tenth year since its market launch, the Smart Fortwo has an impressive sales history. The trendy two-seater has not only become successfully established; over 150,000 customers have purchased a second-generation Smart Fortwo once introduced in March 2007.
In the US
In mid-January 2008, smart’s U.S. sales partner, the Penske Automotive Group, began delivering the first vehicles to customers in the world’s largest automotive market. Through June, 8,854 Americans have taken delivery of their own Smart Fortwo.
The success story continues with the second generation
The second generation of the Smart Fortwo was launched in April 2007. The new model follows in the footsteps of its predecessor and once again sets new standards when it comes to safety features for small cars. The vehicle’s tridion safety cell acts like the hard shell of a nut to protect the car’s occupants. Not only does this allow the Smart Fortwo to meet the very demanding safety standards of Mercedes-Benz Cars, it also fulfills the requirements of EuroNCAP and of the US’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Standard safety equipment in the Smart Fortwo include full-size airbags for the driver and passenger as well as seat-belt pre-tensioners and belt force limiters. Head-thorax side air bags are available as an option. Another standard feature is Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which is not even available in many other micro cars. ABS and Brake Assist are also standard.
The Diesel-powered smart is the world champion for low CO2 emissions
The Smart Fortwo cdi consists of a 45 hp with an average of 71.3 mpgUS on the New European Drive Cycles (NEDC). At 88 g/km, the Smart Fortwo cdi has the world’s lowest CO2 emissions of a series-production vehicle.
The Micro-hybrid arrives
Standard equipment on the European based 61 and 71 HP gasoline engined Smart Fortwo models will include micro hybrid drive (mhd) technology with a user-friendly automatic start-stop system. This feature reduces the NEDC consumption of the two naturally aspirated engines by an average of 8 percent. In city traffic fuel savings of almost 20 percent is possible.
The method behind the automatic start-stop system is the control electronics shut down the engine as soon as the driver brakes and the vehicle's speed falls below 5 mph -- for example when approaching traffic lights.
The engine starts again in the fraction of a second as soon as the driver releases the brake pedal. In this way the fuel consumption is reduced even further. The fully automatic function of the Smart Fortwo with mhd makes it easy to save fuel and emissions.
Smart Fortwo electric drive in 2010
At the end of last year, Smart launched a pilot project in London where selected fleet customers are jointly testing 100 Smart Fortwo electric drives to determine how the vehicles performs under conditions encountered in everyday use. “We are currently developing a Smart Fortwo with electric drive and lithium-ion batteries, and we plan to introduce an electric drive version of the current smart generation in 2010,” said Zetsche.“