DaimlerChrysler finally unveiled the "all-new" 2008 Smart ForTwo to the international media in Stuttgart yesterday. As seen in other photos that snuck onto the web the day before, the new car looks much like the original. Unlike the original this one has been engineered to meet all US safety and emissions requirements and will be officially sold in the US starting in 2008. The new version is 7.7 inches longer to provide more rear impact protection, better ride and also to meet the European pedestrian crash rules. the luggage capacity has also been increased by almost 50 percent to a whopping 7.8 cubic feet which puts at about three times the size of the trunk of the Pontiac G6 convertible with the top down.

Three different versions of the three cylinder gas engine are available rated 61 hp, 71 hp, and 84 hp. All of them come bolted to a automated 5 speed manual gear box and they now top at a screaming 90 mph. For the truly frugal there's also a diesel engine which is rated at 67 mpg on the European city driving cycle. Even the gas engined variants are rated at a minimum of 47 mpg. In addition to built-in pedestrian protection, the driver and passenger get full protection with front and side air-bags, standard electronic stability control and all the other usual stuff. The diesel version also puts out only 90 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer making it best in class. The chassis has also been engineered to accept alternative power-trains like natural gas or battery power.

The new ForTwo is available in both hardtop coupe and convertible versions, with the rag top being power operated. Smarts are available in various equipment levels including a high performance Brabus version that will be available in fall of 2007. Also coming at the end of 2007 is variant of the 71 hp gas version that has a starter-generator to start and stop the engine, and provide a further 13 percent increase in fuel efficiency. The new ForTwo goes on sale in Europe in April 2007. A Smart press release and more photos are after the jump.

[Source: DaimlerChrysler]
Stuttgart, Nov 10, 2006
The new smart fortwo has arrived: The smart fortwo coupé and smart fortwo cabrio were un-veiled to more than 550 international journalists yesterday evening in Stuttgart for the very first time. The location was unusual, but nonetheless very fitting for the smart fortwo: in the middle of the city, on the roof of a multi-storey car park.

In addition, there were presentations on comfort, agility, safety and environmental friendli-ness. After all, the new smart fortwo can do everything that its predecessor can do – but even better. This means that the new smart fortwo is even more comfortable, even more agile, even safer and even more environmentally friendly than its predecessor.

Comfort: The smart fortwo is fun to drive

The comfort of a car depends on more than just its seats. Nonetheless, the seats have been further improved in the new smart fortwo. Enjoyable motoring largely depends on whether a car is fun to drive.

The smart fortwo has always offered lots of driving pleasure and the new smart fortwo will be even more fun to drive. Apart from this, the vehicle concept is highly practical - especially for people who live in cities or urban areas. Because on most journeys a car carries just a single occupant, and because people make faster progress through the city in a smart fortwo. And because they don't have to search for a parking space, they find one right away.

Agility: New engines and transmissions

The new petrol engines pack a far more powerful punch: The three cylinder engine has ca-pacity of one litre and comes in ratings of 45 kW, 52 kW or 62 kW (61 bhp, 71 bhp or 84 bhp). The engine power of the smart fortwo cdi has increased by ten percent and now stands at 33 kW (45 bhp).

All engines are linked to an automated manual five-speed transmission that has also been reengineered. The petrol variants now have a maximum speed of 145 km/h – 10 km/h more than the predecessor model.

Safety: Maximum occupant protection

The high level of passive safety has been further improved. As the new smart fortwo will be sold in the USA from 2008, it also complies with the strict American crash regulations as well as the high standards of the Mercedes Car Group.

Likewise, new regulations concerning pedestrian protection have been implemented in the front section. Furthermore, new head/thorax side airbags, offering extensive protection in the event of a side crash, are available as an option.

Environmental friendliness: Exceedingly low consumption

Despite the greater engine power, the standard consumption of the petrol variants is less than five litres of fuel. The new smart fortwo cdi consumes even less fuel. In accordance with the New European Driving Cycle, its consumption is less than 3.5 litres per 100 kilometres.

The diesel variant of the previous model already boasted the lowest consumption in its class. With an emission of just 90 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, the new smart fortwo cdi achieves "three litre" status.

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