In February, Daimler will start producing right-hand drive smart fortwo cdi vehicles for the UK market. Sales will start later in 2009. That's the same year that lithium-ion fortwo prototypes might begin testing (current battery-powered smarts that use sodium-nickel-chloride packs are already being tested in the UK). So, while they wait for the EV smarts, Britons will have to make due with a vehicle that has the lowest CO2 emission of any current production car in the world (88g/km) and that boasts 71mpg (U.S.) numbers using a three-cylinder common-rail diesel engine from Mercedes-Benz that puts out 45hp. And it's pretty safe, too. Prices will be announced later.
Greenest smart bound for Britain
The world's CO2 champion, the smart fortwo cdi, is coming to Britain.
Sales of the new smart diesel model, which boasts the lowest CO2 emissions of any current production car worldwide, just 88g/km, will start next year with manufacturing of right-hand drive models commencing in February.
As well as impressive green credentials buyers will appreciate the car's remarkable fuel economy. Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 85.6mpg. It means the new smart can travel 670 miles between top-ups, equivalent to a journey from Dover to Prague.
Dermot Kelly, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars, said: "The cdi gives customers the whole range of smart benefits when driving in and around the city, with the added bonus of low cost, long distance motoring. Our retailers are reporting heightened interest in the iconic two-seater; registrations are buoyant and we think the addition of the smart cdi to the range early next year will give added momentum."
The car's Mercedes-Benz-developed three-cylinder common-rail diesel engine develops a healthy 45hp, offering drivers useful performance as well as economy. The diesel model will be available in both coupé and cabrio versions.
The smart cdi benefits from all the enhancements currently available in the new smart fortwo petrol models, including improved ride and handling, class-leading safety, added protection from head and thorax airbags, a larger boot, more elbow and shoulder room, comfier seats, upgraded trim and a revised dashboard layout with a more efficient ventilation system. There is also a new five-speed semi-automatic transmission offering both fully automatic and manual modes.
Pricing and specification for the new diesel model will be announced nearer to launch.