New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Smart turns 10, goes electric

2008-09-04 14:33

The silver Smart ForTwo rolling off a French production line was a brand-new micro hybrid drive model to celebrate the brand's tenth year.

The anniversary vehicle, which celebrates the tenth year of production at the Hambach plant and is the one-millonth ForTwo, will be donated to charity.

Anders Sundt Jensen, head of brand management at Smart takes stock after ten years: "The ForTwo is a success story – it has won lots of fans in 37 markets worldwide.

"The Smart is particularly sought-after in the USA which, even in the first year of the market launch, has become the third strongest market after Italy and Germany," Jensen continues. "There it is already a familiar sight on the roads of cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco and Phoenix.“

Limited edition hybrid

From the end of 2009, a limited run of electric drive ForTwos with lithium-ion batteries will be produced.

Its predecessor, the Smart ForTwo EV (electric vehicle), powered by a sodium-nickel-chloride battery, was first introduced in 2006 and a 100-strong fleet has been in daily testing in London from 2007.

However, the new generation's Li-Ion battery should provide better performance with a longer life and improved reliability.

From October both the 52 kW and the 45 kW models will be equipped with MHD technology as standard, the manufacturer said in a statement.

Smart claims this would reduce fuel consumption on the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) by approximately 8% to 4.3 l/100 km and, in urban traffic, ensure a fuel saving of up "almost 20%."

Dr Dieter Zetsche, president and CEO of Daimler AG and the boss of Mercedes-Benz Cars said "The Smart electric drive makes zero emission driving in an urban environment a reality."

"The continuing rising demand shows the success and the potential of the Smart ForTwo from Hambach. This year we have already sold 90 000 cars, more than 16 000 of them in the USA. From mid 2009 the Smart will also become a familiar sight on Chinese roads."

Smart's Hambach plant was inaugurated in 1997 and production of the Smart ForTwo started in 1998, with production of the second generation starting in 2007.


There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.