Smart introducing hybrid
The Smart Fortwo will be produced in a hybrid version. It will go on sale in Europe at the end of this year. The vehicle will be equipped with what Smart calls “micro hybrid drive,” which turns off the motor when the car is not running. With a 1 liter engine, fuel economy is said to be 54 mpg, using the methodology required for European emissions/economy testing, a 6 mpg increase over the regular Fortwo.
Smart has not indicated whether the vehicle will be sold in the United States, though the company has announced an arrangement For the Penske Auto Group to import and distribute Smart vehicles in America.
Smart also said that it developing two other cars, one an electric zero emissions vehicle and the other a diesel hybrid. But these are not currently planned for production. According to Smart, the electric car can travel about 70 miles on a charge. (It’s faster than a golf cart, too.) What is planned for production is a Bluetec diesel Smart for 2009. That car likely will make it to the States. Though Smart does currently produce a diesel powered car, it cannot meet emissions regulations in either the U.S. or Canada.