smart fortwo Car 10th Anniversary
The first smart fortwo car rolled off the assembly line in Hambach, France on July 2, 1998, with a trend setting shape that was well ahead of its time. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, more than 900,000 people have purchased a smart fortwo since it was first introduced. It is presently sold in 37 countries and the list is continually growing. At the start of 2008 the smart fortwo was introduced in the United States and in mid 2008 it became available for purchase in China. The picture accompanying this article shows a smart fortwo Cabrio version driving on the streets of New York City.
The second generation of the fortwo car was launced in March 2007 and in just over a year, 150,000 of these have been sold worldwide. Daimler AG, the parent company of smart cars anticipates that the efficient shape and style of the fortwo will win over a large number of purchasers in its latest market, China. For many people the smart fortwo is more than a car - its part of their image and goes with their way of life.
The smart fortwo purchaser will soon have the availability of an additional motor choice in the form of electric power. One hundred pre-production smart fortwo electric drive cars have been tested in the United Kingdom (London), and Daimler recently announced that they will launch the smart fortwo electric drive in 2010.
The fortwo gasoline (petrol) version will have the ultra fuel efficient micro hybrid drive (mhd) technology as standard equipment starting in October 2008. The mhd system introduces start-stop technology, allowing for quick shut downs and start ups of the engine during slow coasting, braking or idle situations. The mhd smart fortwo's fuel economy is 4.3 litres per 100 km (NEDC) or 54.7 mpg (U.S. gallon), and delivers close to a 20% improvement in the city fuel efficiency over the non-mhd version.
There is also a diesel cdi smart fortwo with a 999 cc displacement engine available in some countries. The cdi model delivers an average fuel economy of 3.3 litres per 100 km or 71.2 mpg (U.S. gallon), and for Autumn 2008, it will have closed diesel particulate filter added bringing the particulate emissions to almost zero.