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2008 smart passion cabrio and coupe

Launch of the smart fortwo in the USA

The smart fortwo is celebrating its launch to the world's largest automobile market in Detroit .The shortest and most compact automobile currently in production is scheduled to roll on the streets of America this month.

The smart fortwo is the right car, at the right time for U.S. Drivers. Americans are faced with volatile fuel prices, increased urban congestion and a mindset of environmental responsibility. The smart fortwo offers a high level of comfort, agility, safety and ecology. Its unique features and attributes meet consumer wishes now and well into the 21st century.

smart expresses the lifestyle of an enlightened and forward-thinking social class with joie de vivre that cannot be defined by age or social standing, but rather by an attitude, lifestyle and open-minded outlook on life. smart isn't just another micro-car, it's a statement by enlightened drivers of the 21st century who look at future challenges and actively and positively impact outcomes. Like owning an Apple i-Mac, i-Pod or i-Phone, smart documents the open-minded attitude of the "thought leaders", who choose innovative solutions as an existential part of their everyday lives.

The smart fortwo proves that greatness is not a question of size. The presentation of the brand and model has been very well received by the US public and the press long before its market launch. The 24 week smart USA "street smart" road show toured the USA between May and November with three display trailers, test drive vehicles and product specialists presenting the smart fortwo from coast to coast. The road show has attracted and convinced over 75,000 people in over 50 cities across the United States.

For example, in Las Vegas; people waited patiently for an hour in temperatures of 104F to test drive the cars in the parking garage of the Fashion Show Mall. Some even went straight back to the end of the queue again after the short jaunt in order to drive a smart one more time.

Over 30,000 Americans have placed a $99 deposit on a smart fortwo. Dealers will begin to fill orders in January 2008. smart USA's website - www.smartusa.com - has received nearly 4 million visits since June 2006, over 95,000 people have signed up as smart "insiders" and visitors spend an average of over five minutes on the site.

In the context of the U.S. market smart is also redefining the distribution concept. Roger Penske and Penske Automotive Group (PAG) will serve as the official distributor for the smart fortwo beginning in 2008. This partnership is unique and also demonstrates forward-thinking on the part of smart.

The reaction of dealers has been overwhelming: smart USA received more than 1400 applications. Although many were qualified, only a few were selected. Approximately 70 carefully selected dealerships will sell the fortwo in 2008 in major cities across the United States. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the two-seater is already a big success. Since its launch in October 1998, about 780,000 customers opted for a first generation smart fortwo; often to replace a larger car with the lively two-seater. The smart fortwo is a special car and clearly stands out from the crowd. It should not be taken for granted - the smart fortwo is simply fun to drive

Road Trip from Los Angeles to Detroit

smart and Mercedes-Benz demonstrate high environmental friendliness in a real-world test

In an unusual long distance test the smart fortwo and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class demonstrated their top position among the most climate-friendly cars. On a trip from Los Angeles via Chicago to the Detroit Auto Show 2008 they demonstrated outstanding fuel-saving qualities in everyday real-world conditions. On the 4,400 kilometre route the smart fortwo mhd recorded an average consumption of just 4.8 litres per hundred kilometres. The two smart fortwo cdis were satisfied with 3.9 litres, and even the business saloon E 320 BLUETEC (US version) consumed an average of just 5.8 l/100 km.

The journey from smarthouse in Venice, a district of Los Angeles to Detroittook seven days. For a large part of the time the route led the test convoy consisting of one smart fortwo mhd, two smart fortwo cdis and an E 320 BLUETEC along the legendary old Route 66. Media representatives from Germany, Italyand the USAtook turns at the wheel. They had to cope with lonely highways, desert stretches, mountain passes and busy cities. And a severe spell of winter weather with fresh snow and temperatures of down to minus 15 degrees Celsius increased the challenge and made for tough driving conditions.

Despite these adverse conditions, the participants were impressed by the long-distance qualities of the smart fortwo models - cars that are actually designed for urban traffic. However, the high fuel-saving potential of all test vehicles was even more impressive:

With its 52 kW/71 bhp 1 litre petrol engine the smart fortwo micro hybrid drive (mhd) showed that consumption of less than 5 litres per 100 kilometres can be achieved as a real on-the-road figure and carried its passengers 100 kilometres on 4.8 litres. This impressive figure is thanks to a new, sophisticated start-stop function that uses the idling phases to completely shut down the engine for example at traffic lights, level crossings or in s top-and-go-traffic. As soon as the driver releases the brake pedal the engine starts automatically and the journey can continue immediately without a perceptible delay.

On Route 66 the smart fortwo cdi proved that it rightly deserves the distinction of being the most economical production car with a combustion engine. Thanks to the world's smallest direct injection diesel engine the 33 kW/45 bhp two-door model consumed just 3.9 litres per 100 kilometres in real-world conditions and travelled approximately 850 kilometres without refuelling.

With the launch of the E 320 BLUETEC in 2006 Mercedes-Benz ushered in a new era of diesel engines in the USA. On the road trip to Detroitits 165 kW/224 bhp three litre V6 engine proved to be at least as economical as a four cylinder engine in everyday use. The average consumption was just 5.8 l/100 km. Moreover, thanks to the BLUETEC modular emission control system the popular business saloon is the world's cleanest diesel and undercuts the strictest emission limit values worldwide. This is why the E 320 BLUETEC was named " 2007 World Green Car" by journalists in the USA.

The E 320 BLUETEC has already won lots of fans in America and a European version, the E 300 BLUETEC is now available to customers in certain markets. The petrol version of the environmentally friendly smart fortwo will be available in the USAfrom this month
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