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DaimlerChrysler Introduces the New smart fortwo cdi: 71mpg US, 88 gCO2/km

The new smart fortwo cdi.

DaimlerChrysler has introduced the new version of the smart fortwo cdi: a diesel city car that offers fuel consumption of just 3.3 liters/100km (71 mpg US) with carbon dioxide emissions of 88 g/km.

The new smart fortwo cdi features an enhanced 799cc engine that develops 33 kW (45 bhp) of power with torque of 110 Nm (81 lb ft). That represents a decrease in fuel consumption from the prior model of around 13% with an increase in both power and torque of 10%.

The engine uses a new common-rail direct injection system which builds up high injection pressure of up to 1,600 bar (previously: 1,350 bar) even at low revs, and injects the fuel into the combustion chambers with newly developed six-hole injectors, enabling an even more efficient combustion process.

The new fortwo cdi engine. Click to enlarge.

The three-cylinder engine has also adopted two-phase fuel injection from the CDI engines of its sister brand Mercedes-Benz. A few milliseconds before the main injection a small quantity of diesel is injected into the combustion chambers where it ignites and preheats the cylinders. This results in a noticeably quieter combustion noise level than an engine without this pilot injection. The engine control unit calculates how much fuel is needed and the interval at which pilot injection and main injection take place.

A compact turbocharger is housed in the exhaust manifold. The compressor wheel has a diameter of just 31 millimeters, yet it rotates at up to 290,000 rpm and builds up maximum charge pressure of approximately 1,150 millibars. This charge boost enables the engine to provide 85 Nm—more than three-quarters of the maximum torque—at 1,500 rpm. The smart fortwo cdi accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 19.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 135 km/h (84 mpg).

As with the earlier models, the engine of the smart fortwo is fitted transversally in space-saving mode in front of the rear axle and inclined at an angle of 45 degrees towards the rear. The consistent use of lightweight materials means that the diesel engine weighs in at just 86 kilograms. The crankcase features a state-of-the-art diecast aluminium bedplate design and the cylinder head and cylinder head cover are likewise made of aluminium.

The three-cylinder diesel engine controls emissions in two stages. The high-tech common-rail injection and the efficient combustion process deliver a low level of engine-out emissions.  Depending on the driving situation and the engine load, up to 60% of the previously cooled exhaust gas is returned to the combustion chambers where it is combusted once again thus greatly reducing nitrogen oxide emissions. The exhaust gas recirculation works with an electropneumatic actuator which enables it to react quickly to changes. An oxidation catalytic converter and an open diesel particle filter are responsible for the aftertreatment of the exhaust gases. These are housed together with the exhaust silencer in a stainless steel case. The smart fortwo cdi is Euro-4 compliant.

The three-cylinder diesel engine works with a newly developed automated manual five-speed transmission which the driver operates by briefly tapping the shift lever on the center console. When briefly pushed forwards the transmission shifts to the next highest gear. Gently pulling the shift lever backwards is sufficient to shift down. Shift paddles on the steering wheel are optionally available and come as standard in the pulse model line. An automatic transmission mode is also available for all equipment variants.

The clutch is opened and closed by an electric motor—there is no clutch pedal in the new smart fortwo cdi. To enable quick intermediate spurts the smart engineers have developed a kick-down function that is activated with the accelerator pedal. This enables the driver to spontaneously change down by one or two gears and to make even better use of the engine’s low-speed torque.

The new smart fortwo cdi also features an extensive range of safety equipment making it, according to DaimlerChrysler, one of the safest cars in its class. The fortwo offers an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution, electronic stability programme (ESP), brake assist, full-size airbags for driver and passenger, seat belts with belt tensioners and belt-force limiters, safety seats with integral seat belts and the tridion safety cell.

The new smart fortwo cdi is available as a coupé and a cabrio.


Eric (not Erick)

Do they come with a long antenna and an orange flag? I've seen a Civic, and its passengers, after they went under a big rig's trailer: it was a sad, frightening sight, and it seems like this is indicative of the real problem. Can't we make the really deadly vehicles safer? For instance, how about a guard rail beneath a semi's trailer that will keep the little guy from getting sucked under? So what if its a little extra weight!

My sister wants a ForTwo for her commute from San Jose to Milpitas. Her kids are grown now so I guess she can take more chances. As for me, I won't be strapping my two year old in one of these, but I might do it in an Escape hybrid. Sorry Stomv et al! Ya'll can do what you want though.

mike weindl

For me who moved from Europe to US, a Smart was a common sight. Had you been a posh student you had one. The attorney, the lawyer and the broker had one during the week, weekends you pulled out your 5er BMW TD. The smart
is pretty safe for its size, also a bid expensive for US taste..

Thomas Lankester

For those of you who see the Smart as a flimsy toy
("This is not a car for driving on highways--you'd get squished.").
The following link may be informative

And when it comes to car safety, why does no one ever mention the effect on hitting the more vulnerable (peds, cyclists, bikers)? There is a responsibility to others, that's why we drive 'under license'.

Kip Munro

The Smart is ONLY available as a Diesel in Canada. The engine sounds rather like one of those tire inflaters that you plug into your cigarette lighter. They are surprisingly comon here and they make my Insight look like a stretch limo, so I'm always glad to find one to park next to! Meow, meow, meow, (I just couldn't resist). OK..... they're cute, they have a huge Mercedes star, they are THE perfect suburban anti-Hummer statement, and my beloved Insight and I are just a tad jealous of their popularity. :D


You can buy an electric smart for $40000 from:

Also you can try out the Smart EV (the one in UK) soon:

What’s more, in the second half of 2007, customers will be able to try it out at Mercedes-Benz World, Brooklands. We’ll be interested to hear what you think.


Ruan ,
I would be very intrested if you were actually going to sell it
instead of the old 200 cars trick leased to selected customers , who
will not mind when they taken away after the lease expires, and crushed.
I think we all know this well used ruse !

Chris Hill

The Smart ForTwo has been available in Canada, with an 800 cc diesel engine, for about two years. A number of cities have bought them for fleet use. They are perfect for taking a city employee with a briefcase or a laptop to a meeting in another part of town. We don't need four-door sedans to do this. It's a form of right-sizing.

The car is not a joy on the highway. After all, it's only 8 feet long so the ride is a little choppy. But I'd take a Smart on the highway before I'd take a motorcycle, and there are lots of those out there.

We are so conditioned after a life of car ads showing empty 2-lane roads and a single car zooming across the screen. I'm always asked the same questions about our Smart: "How fast does it go?" and, "What's it like on the highway?" We did not buy a Smart to do either of these things. We bought it to show we can get by with less.


Fact checking:

- smart is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, which itself is/was a division of DaimlerChrysler, as is Chrysler. The Chrysler brand is not related to the smart brand, nor does it have a say in the future of smart

- 88g/km of CO2 for the diesel is very good, but it isn't clear if that is before or after the use of a particulate filter. A filter does reduce efficiency. The entry of smart for the 2008 model is certain for Canada and USA, but only with the petrol engine, since the diesel engine doesn't meet North American emissions standards. If this news release is to earn brownie points in North America, then it is a waste of your time because it is information that you cannot use at this time. The current 2006 cdi diesel model in Canada was introduced before tougher emissions regulations for diesel light vehicles came into effect. the smart fortwo cdi today cannot enter North American markets until emissions can be treated to remove particulates and NOx levels and there's no ETA for that

Gerald Shields

I hate to say this, but there got to be a hybrid version. 0-60mph in just over 19 min ain't going to cut it. If the smart fourtwo had some 120 kW Hi-Pa HPD40 electric wheel motors from PML Flightlink, it would improve it's pep a bit.


Thomas Lankester doesn't convince me: any occupants in his crash video would have wound up DEAD. It is precisely the lack of responsibility that is the problem. In California, we have plenty of "undocumented" drivers which you wouldn't consider particularly responsible, and a trucking lobby that knows that it pays to hire lots of lawyers. They are far more powerful than any ticket or truck inspection unit. On top of that, police departments like Sacramento's will not hold the owner responsible if their car is involved in a hit-and-run: they have to have a positive ID of the driver before they will lift a finger.

The "Smart" car is not the problem, though it doesn't look so smart to me. Why not side air bags? Why not an air bag for the entire car? If they can send a rover to Mars... :)

Thanks to Mike Weindl and others, I begin to understand that this car is practical for rich people driving in urban areas, but not for my sister's commute. If it isn't good for the highway, then you might as well buy an electric.

Michel Europe Daimler/Smart is criticized for selling a Diesel as a city car.
The exhaust gas after treatment that is used in this tiny car is more or less a joke only possible because of slack emission laws.
Some NCOs even sued Mercedes not to call Smart ecofriendly and succeded.


"If they can send a rover to Mars... :)"

Um... the Europeans can't.

Stan Peterson

Euro-4 emissions area polite J-O-K-E.

Like typical statist Greenies, they pretend to care about the environment, pass emissions rules that pretend, just like them.


ESA is building a rover (call exomars) for 2011-2013. What makes the smart car more fuel effiecent that other cars? simple reduced weight and tiny engine, no new technology what so ever.


Reading some of the entries here makes me wonder why some of you have even tuned in at all.

Please adjust the tinfoil hat, so that you may receive the proper transmission.

The smart is safe. Go to and look up the crash test videos (see safety).

Yes, Canada has the 800cc diesel already... and the USA and Canada will soon get the 2008 1 litre gasoline model. smart is NOT a Chrysler product BTW.


Not sure what this tinfoil hat reference is all about, but I certainly don't "tune in" to be insulted. Therefore, my last word. I've looked at the videos, though it was unnecessary. Anyone is free to consider this vehicle "safe", and you are more than welcome to buy one, but I would like to have the opportunity to debate its safety openly on this forum, and I do not have to accept that it is safe under real-world conditions. For example, consider driving one of these lightly-powered vehicles 6,000 feet up I-80 in the winter with the normal frequency of semi's and SUV's as they make their reckless lane changes at reckless speeds; dealing with that in one of these cars is not what I would consider safe or smart. However, as I also said elsewhere, this car may be an option for some people in some situations, like urban areas.

There seems to be a movement by some in our culture to convince others to "be green", without due regard for their health and safety. This type of car can and will be made smarter and safer. By definition then, it has not necessarily reached this epitomy of "safe" that is being proposed. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any impetus to make semi's any safer for the vehicles that they may slam into, which is the real point of my posts. For me, the vehicles that I am expected to drive need to be able to stand a fighting chance in an encounter with any of the other vehicles that are common on the road. That is why I don't consider the Smart car safe unless it is confined to certain circumstances.

It should be recognized that "safe", as it is used these days, is a relative term, and everyone should be given the chance to determine what is "safe enough for me any mine". I hope that everyone can agree that these vehicles are not as safe as some other vehicles.

As I said several times before in different ways, I applaud the fact that these cars have made steps forward. Unfortunately, their design still does not recogize certain realities for many consumers. "Squished" remains an appropos description for them.


From what I found out the Smart fortwo with the diesel engine is the only engine offered in Canada. I called a dealership in Canada and they told me the gas version won't pass the Canadian emmission standards, but the diesel does. It bet the diesel won't be brought in because it gets too good of gas mileage. We will keep getting offered small cars that get 35-40 mpg and we will be told well people in the USA just don't want small cars. Not at a few mpg over the big hulks, butI bet if one was offered with 65 to 70 mpg like this Smart or the VW Polo TDI I think they would sell like crazy. The original VW Bug wasn't fast, safe or handled well, but it was cheap to buy and own. The Smart fortwo being brought in first next year will have a gas engine that gets about 40 mpg and needs to run on premium gas. Bring the diesel in and they will sell.


Mercedes can not bring in the Smart Diesel due to the emmission regulation.
There is only one point why Mercedes has his engine on the list. It´s because reducing CO2 output within the Mercedes fleet. They have V12 on the one side, so to calm down lawmakers, they had to introduce a low CO2 car on the other side of their fleet.
If Mercedes had given the Smart Diesel a expensive exhaust gas after treatment, it would have increased CO2 output around some g/m and increased price as well.
In old Germany they expect only 10% market share for this Diesel. At least the only way aviable to reduce harmful emmissions in town. Do not buy this stinker! Only badly educated folk does. Only few at least.


SMART told me that no diesel cars are coming to the US in the near future. TH!NK may sell electric commuters to us by 2009, but this is only a promise.


Ok, so there are no plans for import of Diesel Smart cars. Is there any way for me to get one in Canada and drive it in the US? I'm looking for some way around this, even if I can't register it here straightforwardly due to it not meeting emissions standards.

Does anybody have any info about how it doesn't meet the standards as well? I drove a Jetta TDI that I figure must be a little dirtier than the CDI. Where can I find more information about this? Also, does a car that I import just need to individually meet emissions standards? - so if I homebrew-modified it somehow, could I make it legal without going through a lot of expense and trouble? Or do all of the Smarts as a whole need to meet standards before the entire class of cars are able to be registered.

By homebrew-modifying it, I mean "a friend" used to put 50% methanol in the tank of his Vanagon when a CA emissions test was coming up.

-- frustrated unreliable TDI owner looking for new biodiesel car...


this may sound like a irrelivant question, but dose anyone know if the 2008 fortwo will have any cupholders?? :)

Richard fish

I would be curious to know if a 'converion' to WVO is possible on this car. That would sure take care of the emisison problem.

By the way, how big is the fuel tank ?


Howdy. I want to say something about the safety. I drive a lot on the interstates and have seen cars spinning off the highways and rolling over, sometimes killing the drivers/passengers. However, I not even once saw a frontal collision, which is what people think about when "safety" of a car comes into question. Let me put it this way: you are much more likely to lose control of a giant SUV, especially driving on a highway and in winter, than of this tiny car. Your SUV is much more likely to spin, rollover, AND be hit by other cars, which will make it spin and rollover. Many more people die when their cars rollover, than from the relatively rare frontal collisions. Yes, once you ARE in a frontal collision, you may think that M1 Abrams is the safest car. But think about how likely you are to die from spinning off the highway and rolling over versus getting into a frontal collision on a separated highway?

rick b

Would some kind soul please tell me if an outlet in europe is avail where one might purchase one of these treasures and drag it back to the U.S.?



I know this thread has been dead for a while, but someone was asking if there were anyway to import this into the U.S. After a lot of research, I believe I have found a way to legally import a diesel smart from Canada, or a Diesel Mini Cooper from German, which gets similar mileage and seats 4 people. As with any bureaucracy there are loopholes, and it looks like the best loophole for importing one of these babies is to inherit it. If you can find someone on deaths door in Canada, have them purchase your smart and have it registered in their name, they then will it to you. You are exempt from EPA requirements for importing if the vehicle is willed to you. The end. Read all about it here under exemptions.

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