Starting this October Smart is making its micro-hybrid-drive system standard equipment on the ForTwo in Europe with the 61hp and 71hp gas engines. The micro-hybrid system is just an automated start-stop system and doesn't include and regenerative braking capability. The system has already been available as an option in the more powerful engine since 2007. Smart claims the auto start-stop reduces combined fuel consumption on the NEDC test by eight percent. Those who drive mainly in dense urban areas (which is likely most Smart drivers) can see savings of up to 20 percent. The setup shuts off the engine whenever the driver is braking and the vehicle speed drops below 5mph and automatically fires it up when the brake is released.

Diesel powered Smarts also get an upgraded closed particulate filter for 2009 that removes even more of the soot from the exhaust. All Smarts are also getting interior upgrades including new gauges for the new model year. We'll probably see the interior changes on US bound Smarts but there has been no word on whether we will see the powertrain upgrades. The Daimler press release is after the jump.

[Source: Smart]
Press Release

From October 2008 the standard equipment of the 45 kW/61 bhp and 52 kW/71 bhp petrol-engined smart fortwo models will include micro hybrid drive (mhd) technology with a user-friendly automatic start-stop system. This reduces the NEDC consumption of the two naturally aspirated engines by an average of 8 percent. In city traffic fuel savings of almost 20 percent are even possible. Furthermore, from the autumn of 2008 the smart fortwo cdi will be equipped with a closed diesel particulate filter that almost completely eradicates particulate emissions. The equipment of the innovative two-seater is being upgraded by an instrument cluster with a new design featuring enhanced indicating instruments and new door net pockets among other things. Two new colours "grey metallic" and "rally red" are a fresh new highlight, as are the optional new sporty six-spoke alloy wheels.
smart is resolutely continuing its philosophy and making the smart fortwo even more environmentally friendly and attractive: further reduced consumption, even more uncomplicated driving pleasure and upgraded equipment will characterise the comfortable two-seater in future.
45 kW and 52 kW petrol engines with micro hybrid drive (mhd) as standard
The smart micro hybrid drive (mhd) automatic start-stop function has proven itself since 2007, although to date it has only been available for the 52kW/71 bhp model. To reduce the fuel costs for the smart fortwo, the two petrol models with 45 kW/61 bhp and 52 kW/71 bhp engines are now being fitted with the start-stop automatic function as standard**. This reduces the consumption of both versions in the combined cycle by around eight percent (to 4.3* litres, NEDC). CO2 emissions are reduced to 103* grams per kilometre. In urban traffic with frequent stop-and-go situations savings of almost 20 percent are even possible. 7 out of 10 customers in Europe who opt for a petrol engine will now drive with this environmentally-friendly technology.
smart has realised the idea behind the automatic start-stop system in a particularly clever way: the control electronics shut down the engine as soon as the driver brakes and the vehicle's speed falls below 8 km/h - for example when approaching traffic lights.
The engine starts again in the fraction of a second as soon as the driver releases the brake pedal. In this way the fuel consumption is reduced even further. The smart fortwo's automated manual transmission is perfectly tuned to the automatic start-stop system. The driver only needs to accelerate and brake - no clutchwork or gear changing is ever needed. This fully automatic function of the smart fortwo with mhd technology makes it easy to save fuel and emissions.
Closed diesel particulate filter for the CO2 champion smart fortwo cdi
smart is also improving the environmental footprint of the diesel model in model year 2009 with a new closed diesel particulate filter instead of the open version that was previously used. The new system reduces the particulate mass in the exhaust gas to a minimum and, thanks to intelligent engine control, it is virtually maintenance-free with a long filter service life. With combined consumption of 3.4 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC), the smart fortwo cdi with a 33kW/45 bhp engine continues to be the world's production car with the lowest consumption and, with emissions of 88g/km, it is still the CO2 champion. In future it will also hold a top position in terms of particulate emissions.
Fresh colours and new sporty alloy wheels
smart is also freshening up its palette with striking new colours. The elegantly pleasing "grey metallic" and the sporty intensive "rally red" are new in the portfolio. This means that customers still have a choice of six colours, which enable a total of twelve colour combinations in conjunction with the two colours for the tridion safety cell.
New sporty six-spoke alloy wheels in titanium silver measuring 175/55 R 15 at the front and 195/50 R 15 at the rear are optionally available. The new alloy wheels are also available in a chrome look as an accessory product.
Interior features new highlights
To match the new "rally red" paintwork the colour "design red" has now been updated and harmonised for the upholstery and fabric elements in the interior of the passion line. A redesigned instrument cluster with an enhanced LCD display will be an eye-catching feature on the instrument panel in future.
The fuel gauge is now positioned centrally at the bottom and is supplemented by a permanently displayed digital clock and exterior temperature indicator. Further new equipment details include net pockets in the doors on the driver and passenger side which offer greater storage space.
The updated smart fortwo models can be ordered from smart dealers now.


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