City Car Begins A New Generation | Part Two

New Standard Equipment

Ride comfort and refinement have been further improved with a kick-down function which means the driver can accelerate by dropping down one or two gearchanges.

A new service level indicator shows the driver how many miles or how long it is before their car needs a service.

Another safety feature is the lane-changer function on the indicator stalk. If the driver presses the indicator stalk lightly once, it flashes three times, which means he can more easily maintain control of the steering wheel when changing lanes.

New Optional Equipment

An even wider range of optional equipment will be available on the new models, giving smart customers the chance to tailor their car to individual needs.

For customers’ convenience and ease of driving, Electronic Power Steering (EPS) is available across the range.

An optional three-spoke leather steering wheel is available, with integrated paddle shift gear change, on pulse and passion models. The speed of the vehicle can be regulated or limited automatically using an optional cruise control system with speed limiter (available from April 2003).

The current outside temperature indicator has been enhanced to include a frost warning function. With this system, a dashboard indicator light shows the driver when the outside temperature drops to a level of 3 degrees centigrade or below.

The new ESP system now makes it possible to fit optional wider alloy wheels. The wheels have a new double 3-spoke design and have 175/55 R15 tyres on the front and 195/50 R15 tyres on the rear.

Electronic Stability Program

Using electronic sensors, ESP detects dangers far earlier and faster than even the most experienced driver. While the car is moving the ESP computer constantly monitors actual vehicle behaviour. If it deviates from the safe "ideal line", ESP stabilises the car using precisely metered brake impulses at one or more of the wheels and by reducing the engine power.

ESP also includes additional functions which enhance the comfort and safety of the car; Hill Start Assist (HAS), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), Acceleration Skid Control (ASC) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC).

Jeremy Simpson, head of smart in the UK, said: "These enhancements give the smart city-coupé unrivalled sophistication in the city car segment. smart is already outselling some more conventional small cars and I’m confident that these new models will help us go from strength to strength in 2003."

continues... | Part Three
Published 18 February 2003 Melanie Carter

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