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Mercedes-Benz has been profiting mightily from compact cars recently. Its Kecskemét, Hungary, factory added a third shift to keep up with demand, and company's US arm called the CLA-Class, its "best launch in 20 years." However, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche says the Mercedes brand won't be getting any smaller, subcompact models; they will be reserved for the Smart brand.

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The Beach Boys typified the Southern California lifestyle by famously singing about hot rods, drag races and convertibles (not to mention surfer girls). So we never would've guessed that their hometown would help host a carsharing service featuring squat two-seaters. But times have changed.

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Smart is just about ready to launch the all-new generations of the Fortwo and Forfour. It might be hard to get excited for a car with such a mixed reputation, but the company has high expectations for the updated models. In a new video, Smart teases some nearly final prototypes during arctic testing in Sweden.

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He's not actually a Smart ForTwo owner – he's a guy who built a custom chassis with a Chevrolet big block at the front that can fit a ForTwo body. And yes, there's almost nothing under that diminutive skin except a tube frame, an engine and a seat – the driver's helmet can't be more than a few hairs away from the back glass.

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Among the ten commandments of the car guy, near the top is "Thou shalt not mess with thy neighbor's vehicle, regardless of how awful it may be." That said, we can't help but giggle every time we look at the image above.

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When in Rome, folks can start using Daimler's Car2go car-sharing service. The Mercedes-Benz parent says its car-sharing fleet of Smart Fortwo two-seaters will be available in the Italian capital starting mid-March. Upon the debut, about 300 cars will be available, with another 200 added by April. Lessons in Italian driving gestures will not be included.

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Consumer Reports has announced its annual list of worst vehicles, a cringe-inducing contrast to its list of top vehicles. Ignominiously leading the way in 2014 is Chrysler, which has a staggering seven models listed.

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As expected, the new four-seat vehicle that Daimler AG's Smart division is will start selling later this year will still be pretty darn short. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, speaking at the Mercedes-Benz parent company's annual press conference, disclosed a few details about both the next-generation Smart ForTwo and the new Smart ForFour, according to World Car Fans.

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Smart, the Daimler-owned brand that has done nothing but struggle in the US market, probably won't be getting a larger model. A new four-seater called the ForFour is slated to go on sale in Europe later this year.

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It ain't exactly a Pontiac Trans Am and the Screaming Eagle, but Daimler is trying to get a little sportier with its Smart Fortwo vehicle line.

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Fans of super-minis, take note - here's your first look at the all-new Smart Fortwo. The teensy, tiny city car skipped out in full camouflage, but lacking any shape-hiding body cladding. Immediately noticeable is just how tiny it is. It looks even smaller than the Smart Fortwo that's on the road now, but that's merely an optical illusion - it's not as long, but has a larger footprint overall.

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Judging by the numerous concept vehicles from Smart lately, we can pretty much already tell what the future has in store for the brand's growing lineup. Still, these new spy shots give us our first look at the next Fortwo being tested with what looks to be a production-ready nose.

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We've been waiting... and waiting... and waiting... for something new from Smart. Not another special edition of the Fortwo – even one with wings – can slake the brand's need for some fresh iron. Spy shots tell us that a couple of new models are on the way, but for now, we have this Smart Fourjoy concept, a buggy-like showcar that's said to preview the next-generation Forfour. Of course, unlike this concept, the production four-seater will come with full bodywork, but you're probably

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Smart has revealed its newest concept car, the jovial four-seater Forjoy. The "joy" part of that sobriquet is rather obvious ­– with the doorless, roofless, rear-glass-free concept looking like a beach-wagon full of fun ­– but it's the four seats that might prove most prescient as far as Smart's future plans are concerned.

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What about St. Paul? That's what some Minnesotans may be asking after Daimler-owned car-sharing service Car2go announced that it will start service in Minneapolis in September. Car2go is putting 300 Smart Fortwo two-seaters into service in Minneapolis, letting subscribers use and park the cars anywhere within the city's 55 square miles. Car2go is also temporarily waiving its $35 membership fee to get folks in the Land 'o Lakes to sign up. Minnesota is the 11th North American locale, and the firs

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Electric cars seem to be getting more affordable by the day, and the latest to get a price drop is the 2013 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive. With sales currently limited to only a handful of states, the Smart Fortwo ED is preparing for its nationwide rollout by offering a 36-month lease of the Fortwo ED Coupe for as low as $139 per month – or the same price as the non-electric Fortwo. The previous Fortwo ED leases started at $199 a month.

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If you're a fan of Daimler's Smart brand, here is some potentially good news for you today. First, a pair of concept vehicles will be on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month previewing the next-gen Fortwo and Forfour models, and more interestingly, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has stated that are no plans to offer a front-engine, front-drive vehicle for the Smart brand, both reports according to Autocar.

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Smart is celebrating 1.5 million Fortwos built since 1998 at its plant in Hambach, France, before it goes offline for an extended summer break. The 1.5 millionth Fortwo is a white Electric Drive Cabriolet, but it isn't known which market it will be sold in.

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That battery-swapping thing may be a little much for most electric-vehicle drivers to handle, but battery leasing is apparently right up their alley, judging by early sales of the Smart Fortwo ED battery-electric vehicle.

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After spending a few days with the recalcitrant mechanism that masquerades as a transmission in the Smart Fortwo, we can admit we've pondered all sorts of ways to prematurely end the car's life. An impromptu hardcore off-road excursion has figured prominently in at least one such scenario. Evidently the marketers behind Smart have entertained similar thoughts, or at least spent some time contemplating the old chestnut that goes something like, "Who makes the best off-roader? Hertz." After all, h

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Soon enough, Ford will offer its 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine under the hood of the Fiesta here in the United States, building on the success of the small powerplant overseas. In fact, this success has caused other automakers to take notice, and according to Automotive News Europe, Daimler is now talking to Ford about this engine for use in its own products.

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