The new smart fortwo is the logical further development of a car that attained cult status within a very short space of time and that set standards of comfort, agility, safety and ecology. In future, too, the smart fortwo will embody the brand’s core values of innovation, functionality and joie de vivre.

  • 2007 Smart Fortwo
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    999 L
  • Top Speed:
    90 mph

And it will retain its unmistakable character: its striking one-box design, its compact dimensions, the two-colour and two-material concept with the striking tridion safety cell and the innovative and extremely practical plastic bodypanels.

The city loves you. Even more.

A smart is classless, it conveys a positive attitude to life. Its owner makes a statement: this is a well-informed person with a modern way of thinking and a sense of responsibility. The smart fortwo demonstrates the form that perfect urban mobility takes today. It is an automotive declaration of independence to the effect that this is all the car a person needs in the city.

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The previous smart fortwo was above all characterised by four main features: comfort, agility, safety and ecology. The new smart fortwo will continue all this in a further dimension. It remains a car for people with an individual lifestyle.

No other car has a younger clientele. 85 percent of buyers are under 40. smart cars are driven by managers and mothers, sales reps and fathers. Apart from being extremely economical, lively and easy to drive, with its length of less than three metres the new fortwo is also unrivalled in the amount of space it needs on the road and in car parks.

The new smart fortwo will continue the success of its predecessor that is now sold in 36 countries worldwide. More than 750,000 smart fortwo have been built since 1998.

The smart fortwo has become a familiar part of the roadscape in many cities and it is well-liked everywhere. From 2008 the compact two-seater will also delight many people in the USA and will convincingly convey the message: It’s not money that makes you rich.

The specifications

When designing the new smart fortwo, designers and developers took an in-depth look at the predecessor model and anchored a large number of improvements in the 451 specifications (the internal name for the new smart fortwo).

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The aim was to retain the uniqueness of this car - and at the same time to make the new smart fortwo even more comfortable, even more agile, even safer and even more ecological. Here are the most important specifications to be offered as standard or optional equipment:

Design specifications

  •  Retention of the characteristic design language
  •  More expression, more independence, more masculine traits
  •  The fortwo remains small and special
  •  Likeable appearance
  •  Conveying a youthful freshness
  •  Retention of functions such as the tridion safety cell and the two-colour/two-material concept
  •  More dynamic appearance, more coupé character at the rear

Comfort specifications

  •  Longer wheelbase and wider track
  •  Longer length for more spaciousness and a larger luggage compartment
  •  Air conditioning with temperature control and greatly improved performance
  •  Folding and reclinable passenger seat (single hand operation)
  •  fortwo cabrio: fully automatic soft top, can be operated at any driving speed
  •  Clearly arranged instruments, simple and intuitive operation
  •  User-friendly service lid on the front of the vehicle
  •  Lockable glove compartment

Agility specifications

  •  Engines with more power and torque
  •  Larger capacity petrol engine, naturally aspirated engine and turbo version
  •  Better driving performance, faster acceleration response
  •  Increased electronically limited top speed of 145 km/h
  •  Reengineering automated manual transmission, five gears instead of six, shorter shift delays
  •  Wider standard tyres 155/60 R 15 at the front, 175/55 R 15 at the rear
  •  More direct steering

Safety specifications

  •  tridion safety cell
  •  Four star EuroNCAP classification target
  •  Additional compliance with all US crash requirements
  •  Optimisation of passive safety
  •  Design of front to consider pedestrian protection requirements
  •  Lower vehicle centre of gravity
  •  New head/thorax side airbags
  •  Exterior temperature indicator with frost warning as a standard feature for all lines
  •  smart fortwo cabrio rear window made of safety glass and heated
  •  Panoramic roof made of extremely sturdy and breakage-resistant polycarbonate

Ecology specifications

  •  Further reduced consumption
  •  "Three litre" status for diesel variant, lowest consumption in its class
  •  Diesel particle filter (open system, closed system from 2008)
  •  smart fortwo with starter generator
  •  Concept ready to accommodate alternative drives
  •  Exchangeable and recyclable bodypanels



Evolutionary design: the evolution of an icon

Should an icon like the smart fortwo undergo further development at all? The answer is "yes" – indeed, this is a must. For the new smart fortwo it was important to strike a balance between retaining the strengths of the previous model on the one hand and bringing in new ideas on the other hand.

The past ten years have seen great changes to the terms of reference. The more than 750,000 smart fortwo customers influence the requirements for the successor model. However, so do new legal requirements, especially those for the American market.

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The brand, at its youthful age of eight, also stakes out clear terms of reference for the design. It was important to embody innovation, functionality and joie de vivre - the core values of the brand – in the second smart fortwo generation just as these were anchored in the first generation.

Front view

The new smart fortwo has different eyes – projection headlamps. These are not only unique in this vehicle class, they also give the smart a face that is more technical and grown-up. In addition, the indicators are integrated in the headlights.

The new smart fortwo has a more beefy appearance. The wheelbase has increased by 55 millimetres and the track width by eleven millimetres; the new smart fortwo appears wider and more athletic. This impression is underlined by the wider standard tyres (front: 155, rear 175), the additional air intake and the contrasting black bottom section of the bumper.

Black moulding also runs under the whole width of the windscreen. This covers the wiper axes and ends in the left and right-hand mirror triangles. The side indicators have a low position on each wing side and also round off the swage line in the doors.

Side View

The new smart fortwo is longer, but it still has extremely compact dimensions. It is exactly 195 millimetres longer than the first generation. The front overhang is 72 millimetres longer, the wheelbase has increased by 55 millimetres and the rear overhang is 68 millimetres longer.

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The designers have succeeded in retaining the smart fortwo’s typical silhouette whilst giving the car a more masculine character. Clarity and modernity continue to play a decisive role in the shape of the vehicle.

In addition to the somewhat slimmer tridion safety cell in the sill and door area, the horizontal door handle is a striking new feature. It has been rotated by 90 degrees compared with its predecessor. It cleverly takes up the shoulder line just below the window edge. This is now more pronounced and runs into the front wing and the headlight.

The rear wing now also has a more pronounced contour. The rear window slopes a little more than before. This is firstly to keep the roof short and also to give the car a more sporty and elegant appearance. In order to comply with laws relating to pedestrian protection the front is now a little higher and steeper. The axes for the clap-hands-type aero-wipers are concealed.

Rear view

The new smart fortwo is wider - by 43 millimetres to be precise. However, it appears considerably wider than this because the rear apron now runs straight through without an indent. The projecting handle of the tailgate also contributes to the wide effect.

Four instead of six rear lights now adorn the rear view of the smart fortwo. The rear light, brake light and indicator are located at the top. The bottom lights are housed in a circular reflector. Here, the rear fog light is located on the left-hand side and the reversing light on the right.

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The rear window reaches across almost the whole width of the vehicle and is framed by two black glass-like panels. These replace the small quarter windows of the predecessor.

Smart fortwo cabrio: fully automatic opening and closing of the soft top at any speed

What better way to enjoy "summer in the city" than in a smart fortwo cabrio?

The open two-seater has enjoyed great popularity in many European cities for years, especially in Rome. It is an icon with cult character.

The soft top can be opened and closed at any speed – a feature not offered by any other cabriolet manufacturer. In addition to this the new smart fortwo cabrio offers enhanced comfort: whereas the driver previously had to get out of the car to lock the soft top in its final position at the rear, this is now done fully automatically at the touch of a button.

The heated glass rear window is a further new feature. It has a higher position than the previous PVC window and this greatly increases the loading volume when the soft top is folded down.

As before, drivers of a smart fortwo cabrio can release the rear bow of the soft top and swing it up. The soft top snaps into place in a folded up position facilitating loading of the luggage compartment.

For even more cabrio feeling, as with the previous version the roof bars can be removed by releasing a lever on the C-pillar and stored in a special compartment integrated in the tailgate.

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The soft top itself is made from a strong black polyacrylic fabric on the outside with a polyester/cotton mix on the inside and a layer of rubber in between. The roof spoiler made of black polyamide boasts an aerodynamic shape and also accommodates the third brake light. The soft top has been developed and produced by the roof specialist Edscha.

The body structure of the smart fortwo cabrio shares 70 percent of its panels with the coupé. The A-pillar has been strengthened in the windscreen area with an internal high-strength steel tube. The solid roll-over bar between the B-pillars is welded and bolted to the tridion safety cell. All these measures add just 15 kilograms to the weight of the car.


Comfort: The new smart fortwo has more to offer

Comfort in a car has to do with more than just the seats (although the seats have been further improved in the new smart fortwo). Enjoyable motoring largely depends on whether a car is fun to drive.


The new automated manual five-speed transmission, the longer wheelbase and the wider track provide for additional driving comfort. But that’s not all – comfort also includes the feeling of spaciousness. The smart fortwo offers spaciousness comparable with a standard-size saloon.

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Customers who took a seat in the predecessor model for the first time were surprised how easy it is to get in and out and just how spacious the small car is inside. Even tall people do not feel cramped.

The passenger seat is positioned 15 centimetres further back than the driver’s seat to give the passengers optimum shoulder room. The passengers now have an extra three centimetres of elbow and shoulder room compared with the predecessor model.


The safety seats with integral seat belts have undergone considerable further improvement compared with the previous model and have been given a different look. The sides are well contoured and offer pleasant lateral support. The upholstery has a silk-matt sheen and an even higher quality feel. Leather trim is available as an option.

Even longer objects can be easily transported: a lever on the inside of the passenger seat both reclines the backrest and enables it to be folded forward to a horizontal position. A pull ring under the front of seat enables fore/aft adjustment (230 millimetres).

Instrument panel

The new smart fortwo no longer has a curved S-shaped instrument panel. The main reason for the departure from this is to increase occupant safety. The asymmetrical shape of the previous instrument panel could have a negative effect on a passenger not wearing a seat belt in the event of a crash.

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The new instrument panel runs straight and is framed by two bows on the left and right-hand sides that represent a visual continuation of the structure of the tridion safety cell and support the upper and lower wings of the instrument panel. The lower wing also serves as a knee pad that offers knee protection in the event of a crash. This also has great advantages in terms of comfort as the changed shape of the instrument panel offers improved ergonomics and greater clarity.

The feeling of spaciousness is also increased: the suspended arrangement of the instrument panel conveys lightness and makes the interior of the new smart fortwo just as unique as that of the previous model.

The added elements such as the external-mounted air vents (that are now cylindrical rather than spherical) and the rev counter and clock on the dashboard (standard for pulse) have been retained.

The driver can see the centrally positioned speedometer through the two-spoke or sporty three-spoke steering wheel. The large display shows the fuel level (left), the gear engaged, the coolant temperature (right) and the odometer. The daily mileage is shown below this and the driver can switch between the trip recorder and the exterior temperature indicator at the touch of a button. LEDs are now used for the indicator lights.


The control unit for heating, air conditioning and ventilation has a central, ergonomic position at the top of the centre console and is framed by two further air vents. Slide controls regulate the fan levels (1-4) and the temperature (18-26 degrees Celsius) of the air conditioning (a standard feature for passion).

A control that can be rotated by 360 degrees distributes the air to where it is needed. The air flow rate has also been greatly improved in the new smart fortwo with a 20 percent increase compared with the predecessor.

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The large audio unit is located below the heating and air conditioning controls. Customers have a choice of a CD radio or a CD radio with a CD changer for six CDs. Large buttons and a clear layout provide for simple operation. In addition, a sound system with a subwoofer and MP3 connection is available.

The designers used the central space on the lower wing of the instrument panel for further ergonomically positioned control buttons, for example for the seat heating, front fog lamps and central locking.

Like the predecessor model, the new smart does not have a continuous centre console reaching from the floor to the instrument panel. This adds to the airy atmosphere as the driver and passenger are not visually separated.

The ergonomically shaped gear knob, the two steering column control stalks and the interior mirror have been adopted from the predecessor model. smart drivers will also be familiar with the location of the ignition lock behind the shift lever.

Luggage compartment

The previous smart fortwo had room for six drinks crates. These also fit into the new smart - but that’s not all as the luggage compartment capacity has increased from 150 to 220 litres (in accordance with VDA).

Customers who want to load their car to the roof even have 340 litres of space available. So lack of luggage space is no reason not to take that weekend trip! Four folding plastic boxes for supermarket shopping also fit comfortably behind the seats.

The level loading space is particularly user-friendly with no edges to get in the way of the level surface. The folding rear door is a further advantage and this can be used as a surface to put things on.

Furthermore, the twin-section tailgate requires very little space to open in tight parking spaces. Longer objects can also be transported in the new smart fortwo by simply folding the backrest of the passenger seat forwards into a horizontal position.

Storage compartments

The passenger can use a spacious storage recess in the instrument panel. Alternatively, special detachable bags are available for the storage recesses.

A lockable glove compartment can be ordered as an option (available for the first time in a smart fortwo by customer demand).

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The developers were able to make the best possible use of the bottom section of the tailgate. Drivers of a smart fortwo cabrio know that the roof bars can be stored here. However, this space was not previously used for the coupé. A lid now opens to reveal 8 litres of additional space (for pulse and passion) that is perfect for storing all kinds of odds and ends.

Practical details

The designers have also put a lot of thought into how customers can best carry out simple servicing work for themselves, for example refilling the windscreen washer fluid. Two levers in the grille release the front lid which can be secured with two holders in front of the bumper. The washer fluid, light bulbs, coolant and brake fluid are then easily accessible.

The rear window of the smart fortwo coupé (like the cabrio’s flap) can now be opened with an electric push button switch located in the handle recess above the licence plate. This then also allows remote unlocking using the key. The push button switch just needs to be pressed for approx. 1.5 seconds. Should the battery in the key ever be empty, the driver’s door can also be opened mechanically in an emergency.

Panoramic roof

In the pulse and passion equipment lines the new smart fortwo comes with a very light yet high-strength transparent polycarbonate roof. This covers an area of 1.1 square metres, half of which is transparent. The roof module is produced by Webasto and bonded to the tridion safety cell.

The extremely strong and breakage-resistant polycarbonate has a scratch-resistant exterior and interior coating which also gives the roof a slight tint. 60 percent of the sun’s energy is reflected and 100 percent of UV rays are kept out. A black sunblind made of polyester that is very easy to move backwards and forwards offers additional sun protection if required.


Agility: Even more power

Petrol engines: more power and torque

State-of-the-art compact three-cylinder engines are installed at the rear of new smart fortwo. For the petrol engines, the engine capacity has been increased from 0.7 to 1.0 litres. There are two naturally aspirated engine versions to choose from, delivering 45 or 52 kW (61 / 71 bhp) respectively, and a turbo engine rated at 62 kW (84 bhp). In addition to the increase in power, the maximum speed has also been increased – to 145 km/h.

The all-aluminium engine was developed in cooperation with Mitsubishi, and is produced in Japan. It has been further developed for use in the new smart fortwo.

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The engine is mounted transversally in front of the rear axle, and is slanted at an angle of 45 degrees towards the rear. The cylinder barrels take the form of grey cast iron liners. Gas exchange is controlled by four valves per combustion chamber. The valves are controlled by separate intake and exhaust camshafts, via bucket tappets.

To allow high torque to be developed even at low engine speeds, the intake camshafts can be twisted electrohydraulically against the exhaust camshafts (variable valve control). The camshafts are driven via a maintenance-free timing chain.

Because the masses being moved are low, there is no need for a balancer shaft – which would reduce the output of the engine. However, in the turbo version there is a torsional vibration damper on the crankshaft.

The maximum charge pressure is 0.5 bar, with control taking place via a wastegate valve in the turbocharger. To ensure a long service life, the charger is fitted with a water cooling system, while the charge air cooler is based on air/air technology and is located behind the transmission.

Both petrol engines comply with exhaust gas standard Euro 4. The naturally aspirated engine’s compression ratio is 11.5:1, while in the turbo engine it is 10:1. They offer torques of 92 and 120 Nm. The three-cylinder engine is one of the most economical engines in its segment. The naturally aspirated engine as well as the turbo version consume less than five litres over 100 km.

Diesel: at present there is no more economical way to drive

The highly-focused reengineering of the engine has resulted in a performance increase of ten percent, and the engine now has an output of 33 kW (45 bhp). In terms of emission levels, it complies with Euro 4.

The new smart fortwo cdi achieves the coveted “three-litre car” status. It emits just 90 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, meaning it consumes less than 3.5 litres of fuel per 100 km. At present there is no more economical car than the smart fortwo cdi.

Its diesel particle filter (open system), which stops more than 40 percent of soot emissions, is unique in its segment. As of 2008, the smart fortwo cdi will be available with a closed system.

The new automated manual transmission: change gears without the need for a clutch.

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In future, smart fortwo drivers will benefit from a newly-developed transmission that they will get used to straight away. Instead of the previous six gears, the transmission produced by the specialist Getrag now has five gears, and offers considerable advantages in terms of comfort, fuel consumption and agility.

In the new smart fortwo there is once again no clutch pedal, as this task is performed by an electric motor. If the shift lever on the centre console is briefly tapped forwards, the transmission will switch up a gear, and if it is drawn back, down a gear. Steering wheel gearshift allowing the gears can be changed by means of paddles on the steering wheel is available as an option (standard for pulse).

To the right of the manual level, marked with a plus and minus sign, is the neutral position, N. Reverse gear is engaged by pulling the shift lever backwards from this position.

The smart fortwo passion comes with the automated gear programme (softouch) as standard (optional for pure and pulse). It can be recognised by a small button on the shift lever.

When this is pressed down, the transmission switches over from manual gear shifting (softip) to the automatic gear programme. It’s the ideal solution for use in stop-and-go traffic. As soon as the driver moves the shift lever manually, the system returns to manual gear-changing mode.

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The developers have also greatly improved the shift delays. Shift delays have been reduced by more than half compared to the previous model. This is particularly beneficial when the driver wants to shift down two gears at once. This, coupled with the considerably increased torque, makes for even greater ride comfort.

To improve ride comfort even more, the transmission has a kickdown function. This allows the driver to use the accelerator pedal to shift down two gears at once, in both manual and automatic mode. Incorrect gear changing and overrevving


Longer wheelbase, more agility, more comfort

The developers devoted a great deal of attention to the suspension. Their aim was to make the smart substantially more agile, yet at the same time more comfortable. Quite the technical balancing act.

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Their success in this area is reflected not least in the geometry of the new smart. The wheelbase has increased by 55, the front track widths by 11, and the rear track widths by 31 millimetres. This improves the driving dynamics and reduces the likelihood of pitching and rolling. The very perceptible result is that the new smart is more agile, sportier – and at the same time more comfortable.

Front axle

At the front, a classic McPherson construction has been used. The damper strut is directly hinged to the wishbone, to ensure far better responsiveness. The diameter of the stabiliser is 18.5 millimetres, and it very effectively prevents the vehicle body from rolling in bends. At the factory, tyres of size 155/60 R 15 are fitted to 4.5 inch rims with a wheel offset of 23.5 millimetres. The pulse equipment variant comes with tyres of size 175/55 R 15 (front) and 195/50 R 15 (rear).

Rear axle

The tried-and-tested DeDion construction has been kept. The position of the central mount has been changed (moved higher), which has had a positive effect on the manoeuvrability of the fortwo.

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The springs are now further out than in the previous model, thereby supporting the vehicle body even more effectively against rolling. The size of the tyres on the rear axle in the basic version is 175/55 R 15 on 5.5 inch rims with a wheel offset of 22 millimetres.


The smart fortwo has rack-and-pinion steering. The transmission ratio is 22:1. Thus the steering is transmitted almost ten percent more directly than that of its predecessor. The turning circle is just 8.75 metres – a figure unmatched by any other small car. This makes manoeuvring extremely easy. It allows turning in places where any other car would have to shunt to and fro. And it’s just 3.5 turns of the wheel from stop to stop.

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Electric power steering is available for the smart at an extra charge. Its transmission ratio is just 21:1. It operates on a linear basis and gives the fortwo astonishingly agile handling. The electric boost power varies according to vehicle speed, steering angle and the amount of force applied to the steering wheel. The servo effect decreases noticeably as the vehicle’s speed goes up. The servo power really comes into its own during parking and manoeuvring around town.

Wheels and tyres

The basic tyres for the smart fortwo measure 155/60 R 15 at the front and 175/55 R 15 at the rear. In the case of the pure they are fitted to steel rims, while for the passion they are mounted on aluminium rims. The pulse is the sporty exception to the rule. It zips along on alloy wheels with tyres measuring 175/55 R 15 at the front and 195/50 R 15 at the rear.


Because the electronically limited maximum speed has been increased, the smart fortwo’s brakes have grown as well. Disc brakes are fitted at the front, while drum brakes are fitted at the rear. The electronic stability programme esp with integrated abs and electronic brake-force distribution are included in the standard spec, as is a hydraulic brake booster.

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The fortwo is the only car in its class to come with brake assist. When it detects abrupt emergency braking, brake assist automatically provides full brake pressure in order to ensure optimum deceleration. It offers a helping hand in those situations where the driver has pressed the brake pedal quickly, but not firmly enough.

Driving dynamics

Thanks to extensive changes to its suspension, and its new geometry (wheelbase, track widths, pivot points), handling of the smart has been significantly improved. It is considerably more agile and responsive than its predecessor. However, despite the car’s more sporty design, no compromises are made on comfort. And longer journeys present no problem at all for the new smart fortwo.


Safety: The new smart fortwo is even safer


The smart fortwo has always been a car whose design people immediately associated with a high level of safety. It is a real trendsetter in terms of safety developments in small cars. And that applies to the new version too. The smart fortwo has been subjected to extensive tests to ensure that it complies with the tough standards of the Mercedes Car Group.

These include not only the requirements of EuroNCAP, but also the (in some cases different) standards applicable in America. The little two-seater had to withstand, for example, front and side impacts as well as a rollover test and rear crash (80 km/h).

The tridion safety cell protects its occupants like the hard shell around a nut. In addition, the metal housing is additionally reinforced at strategically important points with high-strength steel. This makes up more than 50 percent of the shell.

The tridion safety cell’s longitudinal and transverse members activate the crumple zone of the other vehicle involved in the accident and distribute the impact energy evenly over the car’s body. And in case of a collision, the wheels also take on the function of crumple zones. When this happens, the front wheels are supported by the side members.

After the seatbelt, esp – and not, as many people believe, the airbag – is lifesaver no. 2. Studies by German insurers have revealed that a quarter of all car accidents involving personal injuries and 40 percent of all fatal motor accidents could have been less severe with esp. In other words: every year, 37,000 accidents in which people are injured and 1,100 accidents involving fatalities in Germany could be prevented, or at least their severity reduced. But only 58 percent of models available in Germany today come with esp as standard. And for one in every five, an electronic stability programme is not even available for an additional charge.

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Not so for the smart fortwo: the new model, too, offers esp as standard, whereas other manufacturers in this segment only offer it at an extra charge – if at all. If the car should ever start to lose control, esp will kick in within a matter of milliseconds. The electronics brake the individual wheels as necessary, and throttle the engine power. esp also includes an integrated hill start assist function. This prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards as it moves off on an uphill slope.

The integrated hydraulic brake assist function also comes as standard. It automatically triggers controlled emergency braking as soon as the electronics register that the driver has pressed the brake pedal quickly, but not firmly enough. This can considerably reduce the car’s braking distance.


The anti-lock braking system prevents the wheels from blocking during emergency braking. This reduces the braking distance, and allows the smart to remain steerable even in this emergency situation. Because it is a component of the esp, abs comes as standard in every version of the smart fortwo, and also features electronic brake-force distribution.

Pedestrian protection

The engineers also put plenty of thought into pedestrian protection. The front-end section is now 72 millimetres longer. The impact zone at the front is a little steeper and a few centimetres higher than that of the previous model.

The axes of the windscreen wipers, which have a clap-hands design and come with soft aero wiper blades (unique in the small car segment), are in a concealed position. The service panel (front lid) is made from elastic plastic. The front spoiler is backed with foam five centimetres thick at impact height.

The headlamp housing is a particularly important safety feature. Because its upper part is located in the potential head impact zone, but there is not enough room in the front section of the car for the module to be moved to another position, the developers have applied break points to allow the component to collapse in case of an impact in that area.

Side protection

Sitting approximately 200 millimetres higher than in a comparable small car usually means better protection in tricky situations. Thanks to the sandwich-type construction of the tridion safety cell, the passengers are usually somewhat above the direct danger zone in the event of a side impact.

The smart’s wheels perform a safety function here as well. If the smart fortwo is hit from the side, its compact design is of considerable advantage. Thanks to the smart’s relatively short wheelbase of 1867 millimetres, the other car will almost always hit an axle, which can then absorb the impact energy.

All interior trims have been optimised to prevent injuries to occupants – even those who may not be wearing a seatbelt. The side roof bars, for example, have been made even slimmer to provide more headroom. And the soft foam-backed lower instrument panel (kneepad) offers a great deal more protection for the passengers’ knees and lower legs.

To comply with yet more stringent crash requirements and additional US standards, the door structure of the new smart fortwo is now made of steel, instead of the aluminium used previously. The doors for the coupé and cabrio are identical. High-strength sheet metal has been welded in at critical points. Overall the doors are 2.5 kilos heavier than those of the previous fortwo.

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The new smart fortwo has been designed to achieve four EuroNCAP stars - and this has been demonstrated in internal crash tests. The vehicle also fulfils all of the applicable American crash legislation.


Every smart comes with a full-size airbag for driver and passenger as standard. The passenger airbag (volume: 130 litres) is now located at the top of the instrument panel, to enable it to intercept passengers who are not perfectly in position in the car, or may even not be wearing a seatbelt.

If a child seat has been fitted using an Isofix fastener (optional), the passenger airbag can be deactivated with the ignition key. The keyhole is situated on the right side of the instrument panel. A red light will appear on the roof frame next to the interior light as a warning that the airbag is deactivated.

Also available as an option are new head/thorax side airbags, which are housed in the sides of the seat backrests. These protect both the upper body and the head.


Belt tensioners and belt-force limiters are standard features in the smart. In case of a frontal impact greater than a defined level of severity, the belt tensioners will reduce any slack in a matter of milliseconds. The belt force-limiter carefully releases more belt before too much pressure is exerted on the chest, allowing the occupants to participate in the deceleration.

Blas Nicusor
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