Anyone tired of spending an arm and a leg (and a wallet full of money) at the petrol pumps, take note: Daimler claimed this morning that its Smart fortwo mhd -- that's micro hybrid drive to you, buddy -- has the lowest running costs of any small car.
The mhd, on limited trial in Germany, was pitted against 16 other small cars from various manufacturers to examine running costs. Final figures revealed the fortwo mhd cost just €27.52 (£21) per 100km driven. In contrast, its most expensive small car rival costs €38.88 (£30) per 100km. According to these numbers, mhd drivers can save approximately €1,700 (£1,320) per year based on annual mileage of 15,000km.
The low running costs are due to the mhd's clever part-diesel, part-electric propulsion system, which can achieve 65.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 103g/km. Like most hybrids, it incorporates stop-start technology, which shuts the engine off whenever the vehicle reaches 5mph -- such as when approaching traffic lights -- and restarts it instantaneously when the accelerator is pressed.
Like the Smart ED we tested back in April, the fortwo mhd is still on limited trial. Daimler reckons mhd-ready Smarts could hit the mass market in 2009, however. We don't want to get our hopes up, but we'd love it if these things finally went on sale. Enough with the talking and teasing, Daimler. Our patience -- and the ice caps -- are wearing thin.