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Smart Fortwo Arrives in the US in January

Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche confirmed today that the Smart Fortwo will go on sale in the U.S. starting in January.

He also said he could "well imagine a large-scale project in cooperation with a partner city in the U.S. to test the electrically powered Smart Fortwo, similar to the project that is currently running in London," according to a statement by Daimler.

Previously, Smart had only said that the Fortwo would arrive in U.S. showrooms in the first quarter of 2008.

Zetsche formally introduced the Fortwo to the U.S. market at a press briefing in washington D.C. earlier today. The minicar makes its debut with a three-cylinder 1.0-liter gasoline engine. "Other engine types and sizes, including Brabus modifications, may become available in the next few years, though no specific timeline has been outlined," according to the Smart USA Web site.

A Few Smart Facts:
DIMENSIONS The smart fortwo that will be available in the United States will be:
8.8 feet long
5.1 feet tall
5.1 feet wide

TOP SPEED The top speed of the smart fortwo is 90 mph (Electronically limited).

GAS MILEAGE Engineering and testing continues to take place on the vehicle that will be produced for the United States. The vehicle is designed to achieve 40 plus mpg under normal driving conditions and current standards. The gas tank of the smart fortwo is 8.7 gallons.

SAFETY The safety management system of the smart fortwo will set new standards in its class, and is designed to achieve a 4-star crash rating in the USA.

The highlight of the safety management system is the tridion safety cell. The safety cell is made from steel, half of which is high-strength material, especially in highly stressed areas. The cell is designed to keep occupants protected. The reinforced steel and the design of the car allow for the displacement of impact and redistribution of crash energy. Because of the size of the vehicle, most crashes will also involve one of the wheel bases which also displaces energy.

Both doors are also designed for easy access during rescue.

The smart fortwo, which will be for sale in the United States in 2008, will come standard with four airbags (two full-sized front and two side for head and thorax protection). Other safety features such as esp® (electronic stability program) and ABS brakes are also standard.

STORAGE The smart fortwo has a rear storage area that can accommodate active lifestyles. Surprisingly, the fortwo has 8 cubic feet of storage space – 12 feet if you load up to the roof line. This area can easily fit numerous bags of groceries, gymbags and other items that are commonly transported every day, including golf clubs! The rear storage area can also accommodate many sizes of luggage making trips to the airport convenient.

The front passenger seat also folds down creating additional space for other items such as skis.<

•PRICE The smart fortwo pure will start at $11,590, the smart fortwo passion couple will start at $13,590 and the smart fortwo passion cabriolet will start at $16,590.

Go here to learn more about Smart.

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