2nd Generation smart cars announced

2nd Generation smart cars announced With the model refinement for the year 2003, smart gmbh is presenting the 2nd generation of the smart city-coupé and smart cabrio. The new features make the two smart models even more comfortable, safe and dynamic.

Boasting an extensive range of additional standard and optional equipment, the smart city-coupé and smart cabrio represent an unrivalled, pioneering force in their segment in terms of drive technology, safety engineering and comfort. The technology offered to smart customers at no extra cost is only to be found as standard equipment in higher vehicle classes. The 2nd generation vehicles are now available and can be ordered from smart Centres.

The 2nd generation smart city-coupé and smart cabrio come with the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) as a standard feature. No other vehicle in the micro-compact segment offers this system as standard. ESP takes over the functions of TRUST PLUS as well as making use of selective brake intervention to stabilise the vehicle. Furthermore, ESP includes further features which enhance the comfort and safety of the vehicle, such as Hill Start Assist, Brake Assist and Acceleration Skid Control. The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), which includes Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), is integrated in ESP. Among the additional advantages offered by ESP are a softer suspension and more spring travel than previously available.

New generation of engines with more power in line with exhaust gas standard EU4

The new engines powering the 2nd generation smart city-coupé and smart cabrio offer increased engine capacity, performance and torque. The engine capacity of the redesigned three-cylinder turbo engine has been increased from 599 cc to 698 cc. As well as this, the new petrol engines will be available in two power ratings in future: 37 kW (50 bhp) and 45 kW (61 bhp), compared to the engines of the predecessor models, which had 33 kW (44 bhp) and 40 kW (54 bhp) respectively. Furthermore, the familiar cdi diesel engine with 30 kW (40 bhp) will continue to be available. The new generation of petrol engines has been de-signed to comply with exhaust gas standard EU4, meaning that the vehicles are exempt from tax in Germany until 31.12.2005.

In order to further enhance driving comfort and active safety in automatic mode (SOFTOUCH) a kickdown function has been developed, making it possible to change down one or two gears on the spur of the moment using the accelerator pedal. The gear change sequences and gear ratios have been optimised in line with the responsive engine, meaning that higher speeds can be attained in the individual gears and making the power development noticeably smoother.

“Customers will be able to enjoy a whole new driving experience with the 2nd generation smart city-coupé and smart cabrio”, says Philipp Schiemer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at smart gmbh. “We have focused on the ‘inner values’ of the vehicles and have succeeded in further improving a product which was truly exceptional in the first place.”

With the second generation, the BRABUS versions developed by the joint venture company smart-BRABUS GmbH will also be presented. The smart city-coupé BRABUS and smart cabrio BRABUS round off the top end of the range and meet the highest customer demands in terms of exclusivity, individuality, innovation and dynamism. Both BRABUS versions are available with a 55 kW (74 bhp) engine, which allows a maximum speed of 150 km/h, as opposed to 135 km/h in the case of the standard vehicles.

New optional equipment available

Electric power steering is available as an option for the 2nd generation smart city-coupé and smart cabrio models. The system was developed jointly for the smart city-coupé/cabrio and smart roadster/roadster-coupé models, thus fulfilling smart customers’ wishes for maximum steering comfort.

The new model year also sees the introduction of an optional leather three-spoke sports steering wheel for the “pulse” and “passion” design and equipment lines, with rocker switches on the steering wheel for sporty shifting of the se-quential transmission. The travelling speed of the vehicle can be regulated or limited automatically via a cruise control with speed limiter (available as of April 2003). The new “strikeline” alloy rims with wide tyres, measuring 175/55R15 (front) and 195/50R15 (rear), give the smart models enhanced braking performance on dry roads as well as a sporty appearance.

New prices

The prices for the 2nd generation smart city-coupé and smart cabrio in Germany (including VAT) are:

EUR 8,820 for the smart city-coupé pure, 37 kW

EUR 9,485 for the smart city-coupé pure, 45 kW

EUR 10,235 for the smart city-coupé pure, cdi 30 kW

EUR 12,140 for the smart cabrio pure, 45 kW

EUR 12,880 for the smart cabrio pure, cdi 30 kW

The extra charge for the “pulse” design and equipment line in Germany is EUR 850 (including VAT) and EUR 1,700 (including VAT) for the “passion” line.

The smart city-coupé BRABUS costs EUR 17,895 (including VAT) and the smart cabrio BRABUS EUR 20,550 (including VAT).

Report and photos: DaimlerChrysler