Monday, February 10, 2003

Smart 2003: Too Smart for North America

The second generation Smart models Coupé and Cabrio, recently announced, have new safety systems and more powerful engines. These economical town cars made in France by DaimlerChrysler are not available in North America.
Both models now have the electronic stability program ESP which integrates an anti-skid system (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution. They have a more comfortable ride compared to their predecessors.
The capacity of the three-cylinder turbo engine has been increased from 599 to 698 cubic centimeters and offered in two versions - 50 HP and 61 HP. There is also 41 HP diesel version. The Smart transmission now incorporates a kick-down function.
The top speed is still governed to 135 kmh with the special-order Brabus version (75 HP) able to achieve 150 kmh.

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