A state-of-the-art compact three-cylinder gasoline engine sits at the rear of the new smart fortwo. The engine capacity is 61 cubic inches. In Europe there are two naturally aspirated engine versions to choose from, delivering 45 or 52 kW (61 / 71 bhp) respectively, and a turbo engine rated at 62 kW (84 bhp).
In addition, there is a diesel version available in Europe. The smart fortwo cdi delivers 33 kW (45 bhp), has an CO2-Emission of just 90 g/km and a consumption (according to NEDC) of less than 3.5 liters per 100 kilometers.
The smart fortwo is one of the most economical cars on the world’s roads today. The gasoline versions do an average of 40 miles to the gallon (combined city/highway).
The engine is mounted transversally in front of the rear axle, and is slanted at an angle of 45 degrees towards the rear. Gas exchange is controlled by four valves per combustion chamber. The valves are controlled variably. The camshafts are driven via a maintenance-free chain.
Because the masses being moved are low, there is no need for a balancer shaft – which would reduce the output of the engine. However, in the turbo version there is a torsional vibration damper on the crankshaft. The maximum charge pressure is 0.5 bar.
Changing gears without the need of pressing a clutch-pedal
In Europe the smart fortwo is fitted with an automated five-speed manual transmission (softip) as a standard feature. There is no clutch pedal, as this task is performed by an electric motor. If the shift lever on the center console is briefly tapped forward, the transmission will switch up a gear, and if it is drawn back, down a gear.
To the right of the manual level, marked with a plus and minus sign, is the neutral position. Reverse gear is engaged by moving the shift lever backwards from this position. Optionally, gears can be changed using steering-wheel-mounted gear shift paddles.
The European passion version comes with the automatic softouch gear program as standard. When the small button on the gear knob is pressed down, the transmission switches over from manual gear shifting (softip) to the automatic gear program. As soon as the driver moves the shift lever manually, the system returns to manual gear-changing mode.
To improve ride comfort even more, the transmission has a kickdown function. This allows the driver to use the accelerator pedal to immediately shift down two gears at once, in both manual and automatic mode. Incorrect gear changing and over-revving are impossible, because the electronics will only accept logical gear changes.
The smart fortwo is produced at "smartville" in Hambach, France. System partners on site deliver the prefabricated modules directly to the production line.
Environmental protection is a high priority in Hambach. For example, for the smart's three basic colours – black, white and yellow – only water-soluble paints are used. Painting of the tridion safety cell takes the form of a powder-coating process. This removes the need for solvents. The bodypanels, with moulded-in colour, are fully recyclable.
Parts of the underbody and the inner wheelhouses are produced entirely from recyclates. The instrument panel is made partly from the renewable raw material flax.