The Smart ForTwo Micro-Hybrid, based on the 1-liter Smart ForTwo, isn't really much of a hybrid--it merely incorporates a start-stop system that shuts off the engine when it's stopped in traffic. However, this system will save gas in heavy traffic.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Smart
Where the standard ForTwo gets about 50mpg, the Micro-Hybrid version gets an estimated 54mpg. Along with the fuel savings, the Micro-Hybrid gets a similar reduction in emissions.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Smart
To create this start-stop system, Smart removed the starter motor and replaced the generator with a combined starter/generator.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Smart
The engine in the Micro-Hybrid automatically shuts off when the driver is pressing the brake and the car slows to below 5mph. The system quickly restarts the engine when the driver releases the brake.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Smart
The transmission, an automated five-speed manual, is the same in both the standard version and the Micro-Hybrid.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Smart
Both the standard ForTwo and the Micro-Hybrid have 71 horsepower and a top speed of 90mph. The standard ForTwo is set to be sold in the U.S. early next year, but there is no word on whether the Micro-Hybrid will find its way here.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Smart
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