2008 Smart Fortwo

The Smart “Micro compact car” was designed primarily for urban use in European cities, where parking is scarce and fuel economy is of great importance. The Smart Fortwo’s length of only 8 ft allows as many as three of the vehicles to be parked in the space normally taken by one standard-length car.

Providing adequate passenger safety was a challenge to the designers. To solve this and to provide a rigid frame, a solid steel “Tridion” frame, left visible at the exterior as a major design element, completely surrounds and protects the passenger compartment, and defines the basic shape of the car as well. Interchangeable plastic body panels complete the exterior. With a weight of 730 kg (1609 lb), it is one of the lightest cars in the European market.

In order to make maximum use of the minimal crumple zone at the front, the Smart Fortwo has its engine positioned at the rear of the vehicle.

The engine range is composed of only turbocharged three cylinder motors. Originally, the base petrol engine had 599 cc, but displacement was increased to 698 cc along with the restyling. It is available in 37 kW (50 hp) or 45 kW (61 hp) variants or with the Brabus models even more. The turbodiesel engine has 799 cc displacement with 30 kW (40 hp). Engines are mounted in the rear of the vehicle. The new 999 cc version (2007 onwards) comprises NA and turbo versions.

Although a manual transmission is offered, there is no clutch pedal. Instead, input from floor-mounted shifter or optional steering wheel-mounted paddles is fed to a servo-operated clutch to shift the sequential automatic gearbox.

The Smart averages 4.7 L/100 km (50 mpg or 21.3 km/L) for the gasoline model and 3.4 L/100 km (69 mpg or 29.4 km/L) for the diesel.

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~ by darkdestroyer on November 23, 2007.

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