Eight years of continuous success and over 210,000 new vehicle registrations in Italy have made the smart fortwo an integral part of the city landscape, so much so that it is now impossible to imagine a city without smart. In Italy's major urban centres the smart fortwo has clearly become the car of choice for the young urban generation, a metropolitan cult in its own right. For example, there are now over 50,000 smarts on the streets of Rome, confirming the Italian capital’s status as a truly "smart city".
So smart has decided to let Italy – and the city of Bologna in particular – celebrate the spirit of this exciting brand on the occasion of the special advance public world premiere of the new smart fortwo. This is a reward for the enthusiastic support received from Italian customers and admirers, who will be able to view the new model at the next Motor Show.
Bologna is the world’s oldest university city, full of young people and well-known for its openness to innovation. And the Piazza Maggiore, the square at the centre of the city, provides an outstanding showcase for the colourful display of passions and feelings. The evening of the premiere will include appearances by some of the leading new performers on the Italian musical scene: the pianist and composer Giovanni Allevi, the very young and incredibly talented L’Aura, and Finley, the hard pop group, winner of the "best Italian act" category at the latest MTV Europe Music Awards. These young artists will present the three facets of the new smart fortwo: originality, talent and energy.
The show will be a constant succession of stunning presentations and carefully scripted entertainment, designed and directed by Valerio Festi, one of the designers of the opening ceremony at the last Winter Olympics in Turin. The presentations will focus on the qualities of energy, simplicity and surprise, values reflecting the distinctive character of the new smart fortwo.
To welcome the new smart fortwo, the world-famous artist and photographer David La Chapelle will close the evening's proceedings as the artistic director of "Contemporaneous Spirit", a work creating a whole new dimension in contemporary dance, as performed by "Krumpers". The energy of smart fortwo is given artistic form through an expressive language blending tribal, urban and spiritual elements.
But the show at Piazza Maggiore is just the beginning.
At the smart stand at the 31st Bologna Motor Show, visitors will discover the brand in the best possible way – via the four key values of the new smart fortwo: comfort, dynamism, safety and respect for the environment. Plus a final gift for the car's passionate Italian admirers - the "edition limited one", a special limited edition version of smart fortwo.
The firework display in Bologna will provide the perfect opening for the "smart-and-the-city tour" road show that will then "explode" onto city squares throughout Italy, in a series of exciting and original events for smart fans in the lead-up to the launch of the new smart fortwo in April 2007.
The smart fortwo, as champion for the cause of easier mobility in today's big cities, is looking for people who are inspired by the same vision, individuals working every day to improve the quality of life in our cities, today's "urban heroes".
A stroke of genius: smart fortwo
"When you have a stroke of genius, there's no need to reinvent it" (Ulrich Walker, CEO of smart).
Genius is a gift that helps people to achieve things that others relegate to the realm of dreams and impossible desires. The ability to fascinate is also an innate gift, but one which has to be fostered and refined over many years. It expresses itself in a look, a smile, the way someone grips your hand. That’s what the new smart fortwo is like: a stroke of genius, simple, and even more fascinating than before.
"The smart fortwo concept is unique. The new smart fortwo represents the natural further development of this unique ‘cult car’, unparalleled on the automotive scene today" (Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler, Head of the Mercedes Car Group).
Improving on the style of a car displayed at the MoMA in New York as a contemporary symbol of urban mobility was no easy task. The new-look design gives the smart fortwo an even more sporty, dynamic appearance, while retaining its unique character.
The distinctive characteristics of the smart fortwo have been further enhanced in the new model, defining new benchmarks for comfort, agility, safety and environmental responsibility. The new smart fortwo embodies the fundamental brand values: innovation, functionality and joie de vivre.
The new smart fortwo is recognisable at a glance, and this is especially thanks to the distinctive tridion safety cell and the interchangeable bodypanels. The new headlights with integrated indicators feature clear, tapered lines, giving the car a more mature, "techno" look, and the fog lights at the bottom make the vehicle appear wider. Looking from the side, the eye naturally follows the line starting from the robust front mudguard, creating a stylised image of a tautened bow to underpin the dynamic profile of the vehicle. This sensation is further reinforced by the absence of triangular rear windows, the slimmer tridion cell, and the horizontal door handles in the new design.
The impressive size and circular shape of the rear lights give the new smart fortwo a real coupé look.
Even more comfortable
To give our best we all need to feel comfortable, and in the new smart fortwo there is an immediate and total sensation of comfort and well-being. With the longer wheelbase and wider track, and the new straight instrument panel, the interior has an extraordinary spacious feel, accentuated by the transparent roof that lets lots of light in. All controls are within easy reach, intuitive and easy to operate.
The car is ideal for grocery shopping or larger purchases, with a generous luggage compartment of 220 litres, 70 l more (+30%) more than in the present model. Loading the vehicle right up to the roof would bring total capacity to 340 litres, 80 l more than in the present model. The tailgate is divided into two sections, with the bottom section folding downwards, for unloading heavy objects.
With the smart cabrio, the convertible version of the new smart fortwo, the switch to "open air" driving is easily made in a matter of seconds, thanks to the fully automatic soft top, which can be operated at any speed and stopped at any position. And rainy days are also no problem, with the rear window made of electrically defrostable glass.
Even more agile
Driving pleasure is enhanced as the sense of boundaries between driver and vehicle diminishes. You never tire of driving the new smart fortwo - it's like the experience of wearing a made-to-measure garment. The new petrol engines offer power for any situation. The larger engine capacity, up from 698 cc to 999 cc, and the new engines, delivering 45 kW/61 bhp and 52 kW/71 bhp for the naturally aspirated version, and 62 kW/84 bhp for the turbo version, ensure lots of driving pleasure in every situation.
smart fortwo cdi is currently the most economical vehicle on the market, consuming just 3.5 litres per 100 km, and the only car in its segment with a diesel particulate filter fitted as standard. The new smart fortwo cdi has a power rating of 33 kW/45 bhp.
The short shift times of the Getrag 5-speed automated transmission and the increased engine torque ensure extremely smooth running and even greater agility.
And the suspension, designed for firm and reliable roadholding in any situation, gives the driver enhanced road feel - which means that driving the new smart fortwo is never boring!
The high level of safety provided by the tridion cell has been even further increased. The smart fortwo, already the benchmark for safety for city cars (and other segments as well), is now even safer. The tridion safety cell effectively protects the vehicle occupants. The metal body is reinforced with high-strength steel at strategic points on the structure. If a collision does occur, the longitudinal and transverse members of the tridion cell activate the crumple zone, distributing the energy almost evenly along the entire body. The wheels are also designed to play a role in absorbing the energy of the impact, since the rear wheels are anchored to the longitudinal members.
In contrast with most other cars in its segment, the new smart fortwo has esp as standard. When the car starts to skid, esp responds within thousandths of a second, applying individually regulated braking forces to each wheel and reducing the engine power. esp also includes an integrated hill start assist function, preventing the car from rolling backwards during a hill start.
The hydraulic brake assist function and ABS are also standard features, providing high levels of active safety.
Even more environmentally-friendly
Respect for the environment is one of the fundamental values of the smart brand which has been committed to sustainable mobility from the outset. And thanks in part to their extremely light weight, the fuel consumption of smart fortwo coupés and cabrios is among the lowest of any cars in the world today. The smart fortwo cdi consumes less than 3.5 litres per 100 kilometres, with CO2 emissions of just 90 grams per kilometre. A particulate filter blocking over 40% of particulate emissions is included in the standard spec.
Respect for the environment has always been a key consideration and this includes the production of the car at the Hambach plant. For example, for the first coat of paint on the bodypanels made of synthetic materials, only water-based, solvent-free paints are used. The tridion safety cell is painted with a powder coating process that does not require any use of solvents.
The black, white and yellow bodypanels are 100% recyclable.
The smart fortwo wins the hearts of people with an open and positive outlook, with the ability to "think outside the box", across a very wide range of ages and lifestyles. smart customers can be categorised as "professional", "aspirational" and "rational".
Customers in the "professional" category are mainly male (62%), with an average age of 44, and are generally married, with a family. Their educational level is fairly high, and typical interests include reading, wellness and travel. They are automobile enthusiasts, who appreciate personality and innovation in a car, and a distinctive and original design.
"Aspirational" customers tend to be very young, with an average age of less than 25. They live with their parents, are in the upper-middle class, and have a high level of decision-making autonomy. The enjoy sport and music, and are very interested in new technologies. They share the passion of the "professionals" for all things automotive, and are drawn to the most prestigious brands.
"Rational" customers are mainly female (58%), with an average age of 41. They tend to be well-educated, with an interest in literature and the arts. They take a rather detached attitude to cars, which they use mainly for practical purposes, and they therefore choose a smart fortwo mainly for the car's rational characteristics, such as low fuel and running costs, functional convenience and ease of parking, thanks to its length of only 2.69 metres (73 cm less than the next most compact car in the segment).
A feature common to all smart fans is that they belong to the "urban generation". Jeremy Rifkin, President of the Foundation on Economic Trends, believes that 2007 will be a major turning point in human history: for the first time over one half of the world's population will be living in large urban areas. "Homo urbanus is here", and smart is ready for him (and her).