Sep 20, 2008

Smart diesel will become UK's lowest CO2 car

It may be small, but the latest Smart ForTwo looks bound to win a big prize next year by becoming the UK's lowest emission car. While the diesel supermini has already hit German and Italian roads, February 2009 will be the first time British drivers can try the right-hand drive version. Thanks to its 88g/km CO2, they won't have to pay for vehicle excise duty either.
The latest Smart achieves its low carbon rating mainly due to its new ultra efficient motor. The car's size -- a fraction of CO2 rivals like the BlueMotion Polo and Prius -- doesn't hurt either. The other big green feature is the inclusion of a closed particulate filter to cut down on diesel air pollution.

Smart's new uber eco car does have a downside: performance. With a 0-60mph of 19.8 seconds, it's much slower to accelerate than the petrol ForTwo. Of course, if you're in the market for this new Smart, you're probably already practising eco driving techniques so you'll be accelerating gently and smoothly.

Tests for journalists are starting now -- I'm hoping to trial one for SmartPlanet later this month, so watch this space. The production version's due February 2009 for £8,000. If you really can't wait, there's a left-hand drive version on eBay right now.

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