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Smart ForTwos outside Cobo Hall. Click the image for a high res gallery

Smart USA is here at the Detroit Auto Show with the new second Generation ForTwo and they will be making an announcement this afternoon during the Mercedes-Benz press conference. Smart has a display across the street from the front door of Cobo Hall where they have a driver maneuvering around two stretch limos and demonstrating parallel parking in a space barely larger than the limos. You can see those pics in the high-res gallery by clicking on the link above.

I had a chance to talk to Smart's Communications Director Ken Kettenbeil on the show floor this morning and take some live photo's of the car. Ken gave me all the details on the US launch of the Smart ForTwo. Roger Penske's United Auto Group will be acting as a distributor. Some UAG and some Mercedes stores along with other dealers will be handling sales. The ForTwo will be available in three trim levels and both coupe and cabriolet models. Only one gas engine will be available initially although other power-trains may follow later on. The starting price will be under $15,000.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Can you still "parallel park" the new models by parking perpendicular to the curb? That would rock. Also, what are the EPA estmates for the cars they are going to bring here? How do those compare to the diesel numbers?
      • 8 Years Ago
      No diesel because of stupid U.S. government regulations. If you go to one of the European websites Smart.com you can see the other models (including diesel) that have been available in Europe since the late nineties.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You are wrong, CM... The "green" europeans easily reach the US standards on oil burners emissions, with particle filters. Easily!!!

      The problem is that in the US, you want to reach those standards with crappy fuel... Well, the real problem is a lack of criteria, and maybe an important lack of inteligence (like in brain).
      • 8 Years Ago
      I really do hope that they, and they meaning Smart USA, get this vehicle on the roads shortly. This is a great local commuter car as opposed to using a gas hog SUV/CUV mini van or truck that usually carries only one person. The one thing that I personally would greatly appreciate would be the diesel engine. The days of the truck driving down the road not being use for it's purpose are coming to a close.
      darlingtonnative
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Diesel version sold in Canada for over a year gets about 70-72 mpg. The gas version sold in Mexico for several years gets around 55 although a friend in Texas once squeezed 60 out of it. I have heard that the Americanized 2008 version will not have a Mercedes engine and it will get well UNDER 50 mpg.
      And as I pointed out in my book we didn't even sign the Kyoto agreement so we should be able to buy the diesel version, while Europeans who did sign can buy the diesel version. Makes no sense to me at all.
      • 8 Years Ago
      How cool would it be to have a lane dedicated to "SMART" drivers? - wouldn't have to be very wide ;) - kind of like the commuter lanes in Cali. That'd take quite a movement.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Saw some pics over at eMercedesBenz.com that had the smart parked perpendicular to the curb... It's all dependant on the length of the car though. 106 inches, which is about 30" wider than the MB S-class.
      • 8 Years Ago
      No diesel because of stupid U.S. government regulations. If you go to one of the European websites Smart.com you can see the other models (including diesel) that have been available in Europe since the late nineties.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It is unbelievable that some folks think setting standards to have clean air is "stupid". Well pardon me for breathing! It is also amazing that the supposedly "green" Europeans prefers savings at the pump to clean air, then they criticize US, the ones with the strict clean air standards!

      Daimler recently developed technology for diesels that allow them to meet (barely) California clean air standards, but it is too costly for the ultra-cheap Smart car line - that's why no Diesel Smarts.

      The real question is "Why no hybrid or electric Smarts?"
      jcnspots
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why no diesel? And what sort of gasoline mileage will these things get? If it's north of 50 mpg, I'm buying one, either diesel or gas.
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