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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Consolidated info from the mothership...

Drive power is supplied by state-of-the-art three-cylinder engines rated at 45 kW/60 hp, 52 kW/71 hp and 66 kW/90 hp, while power transmission is performed by a five-speed manual transmission or the twinamic automatic dual clutch transmission (smart fortwo: Fuel consumption, combined cycle: 4.1 l/ 100 km; CO2 emissions, combined: 93 g/km)*, (smart forfour: Fuel consumption, combined cycle: 4.2 l/ 100 km; CO2 emissions, combined: 97 g/km)*.

A host of innovative details guarantee even more fun in the city. The new smart generation will be launched onto the market in Europe in November. The price for the smart fortwo will correspond to that of the current smart series, while the smart forfour will cost only around 600 euros more with the same engine.

The essential safety concept embodied so successfully by the preceding models has been retained. Like a nut, the soft interior is protected from harm by a rigid shell: the tridion cell. A high proportion of ultra-high strength hot-formed steels and maximum-strength multiphase steel is now used on the new smart.

In keeping with the Mercedes-Benz "Real Life Safety" philosophy, the focus in car-to-car crash tests was on compatibility with substantially larger and heavier vehicles. The new smart vehicles performed well in frontal collisions with the S- and C-Class.

Advanced assistance systems which were previously the reserve of higher classes of vehicle further enhance safety and comfort. These include

Crosswind Assist (standard),
forward collision warning (option) and
Lane Keeping Assist (option).

A new front axle design adopting elements of the previous Mercedes-Benz C-Class, an optimised De Dion rear axle, substantially increased spring travel all round, tyres with higher side walls and an unprecedentedly small turning circle are the highlights of the new chassis. The chassis and suspension of the new smart generation have been evolved on the basis of the experience acquired with previous smart models and designed for markedly enhanced ride comfort.

In order to assure the structures of a high level of deformation and energy absorption capacity in frontal collisions, the new smart generation has been provided with the largest possible crumple zones and attention has been devoted to ensuring an effective flow of the accruing forces.

In a severe frontal collision, the rear structure also helps to absorb the energy acting on the vehicle, for example. The forces are channelled into the extremely robust passenger cell, which is designed as a safety cage. Particularly extensive work went into adapting the new front axle carrier to crash requirements.

The highly robust tridion passenger cell is able to prevent major deformation even in very severe collisions, thus helping to protect the occupants' space. The fuel tank is located safely outside the deformation zone in front of the rear axle.

The number of assessed collision cases far exceeded the mandatory scope, both in the simulations and in real crash testing. The new smart fortwo underwent the same development programme as the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, for example. As it has been evolved for the global market, the number of crash tests was four times what is required for vehicles designed primarily for the European market.

The smart models come with driver airbag, driver kneebag and front passenger airbag as standard. The kneebag has a positive influence on occupant kinematics in a frontal collision, thus offering the driver additional protection in many frontal collision scenarios. The principle of the telescoping steering column has been adopted 1:1 from the Mercedes-Benz range.
The standard-fit sidebags (head-thorax bags) are accommodated in the driver and front passenger seat backrests and provide side cover for the respective occupants' head and chest. The sidebags incorporate two chambers to enable due adaptation to different sizes of head / upper body. When inflated in side-on collisions they are able to lower the degree of stress to which the chest area is exposed and reduce the risk of the head colliding directly with the side window or other objects likely to cause injuries, such as a pylon, a tree or parts of a colliding vehicle. The occupants' pelvic areas are additionally protected by deformation elements installed at appropriate points in the door panels.

Two state-of-the-art three-cylinder engines will be available for the new smart models at the market launch: the naturally aspirated engine generates 52 kW/71 hp from a capacity of 999 cc.
The engine's ample torque from an engine speed as low as 1000 rpm (maximum: 91 Nm at 2850 rpm) enables particularly economical driving in high gears, even in urban traffic. Top of the range is the turbo engine rated at 66 kW/90 hp. The 898 cc engine mobilises maximum torque of 135 Nm at 2500 rpm. The totally new turbocharger features an electronically controlled wastegate which enables increased engine dynamics in conjunction with a sustainable reduction in fuel consumption. Another distinguishing feature is the automatic start/stop system.

Apart from the turbocharger, a whole range of other technical measures also contributes to the engine's excellent fuel efficiency and performance. These include variable swirl control and variable adjustment of the inlet valves. Another defining trait of the all-aluminium three-cylinder engine is the square bore/stroke ratio. A few months after the market launch, a basic petrol engine rated at 45 kW/60 hp will extend the range.

Both transmission variants are also new for smart: customers can choose between a five-speed manual transmission and the twinamic six-speed dual clutch transmission.

The new smart has essentially been configured for gently understeering handling characteristics. The different tyre sizes at front and rear have thus been retained, whereby the narrower front tyres in conjunction with a high outside wheel turn angle contribute to the unprecedentedly small turning circle. ABS, ASR and ESP® are ready to intervene at the critical limits of road-holding. A hill hold function and brake assist are integrated in the brake system.
The engineers have designed a new McPherson suspension with a triple-path head bearing for the front axle. Each wheel is controlled by a wishbone under the wheel centre, the McPherson strut and a tie rod. Comfort and guide bearings for the wishbones provide for added comfort, along with the markedly increased overall spring travel. During the compression phase in particular, the new smart runs markedly more smoothly over uneven surfaces than previously.

The new smart models also feature a sophisticated De-Dion rear axle, which has been modified for substantially greater comfort. New elements are the twin-tube shock absorbers and separate barrel-shaped helical springs. Two elastomer shims provide for effective noise decoupling of the helical springs between body and rear axle.

The Sports suspension package is optionally available to those seeking sportier handling from their smart. The springs are firmer here and the vehicle is ten millimetres lower.
As standard, the new smart models come with mechanical rack-and-pinion steering.

The Direct-Steer system with variable ratio and electric power assistance provides for considerably enhanced driving enjoyment, even better handling and increased efficiency.

The smart designers refer to the evolutionary development of the silhouette as the "one-and-a-half box" design. A change to the previous one-box proportions became necessary for two reasons: The higher bonnet lends the smart a more grown-up and sportier character.
The smart sports a friendly but self-assured face. A decisive feature of this friendly face is the signature smart grille, which is now slightly larger. The grille's perforated structure results from a honeycomb pattern. The honeycomb is paler towards the outside - the designers refer to this as fading. The radiator trim is available in a variety of colours to match or contrast with the bodypanels, including black, cool silver and white. The second, black cooling air opening in the bumper also features the honeycomb pattern.

The rhombic front lamps are truncated slightly at the top, producing an attractive sporty look. The U-shaped daytime driving lights add a characteristic design feature. In combination with the LED & Sensor package, the headlamps incorporate a welcome function: when the car is unlocked, the light in the headlamps pulsates, as if the smart were welcoming its owner.

A characteristic swage line, such as features in the middle of the doors, underscores the brand image. This is followed by the fuel filler cap on the right and the air inlet for the rear engine under theB-pillar on the left. As previously, the door is lined with a panel in high-quality lightweight plastic. This allows the king of the car park to shrug off any knocks and bumps from other road users.

New, rich exterior colours and around 40 combination options between bodypanels and tridion cell boost the brand's upbeat image. New colours now available include moon white (matt), lava orange (metallic) and hazel brown (metallic), which can be applied to contrast with new colours for the tridion cell such as cool silver (metallic) or lava orange (metallic).

"Loop" is the designers' name for the emotional sweep that features as a leitmotif in the interior, embellishing the dashboard and doors, for example.
The sculptural dashboard itself consists of two sections - a bold and sensuous outer section which can optionally be covered with fabric, and a large, concave inner section incorporating the functional elements. In front of the dashboard, the instrument cluster and the infotainment centre with radio/navigation appear to hover in front of the dashboard.

The dashboard and the door centre panels feature extensive fabric coverings in the three lines. This high-quality textile surface is very pleasant to the touch and is reminiscent of the mesh inserts in modern sports shoes. The mesh structure is a USP in this vehicle segment.

The colour and material concept underscores the easy-going and charming character of the new smart generation, with the equipment lines standing for a distinctive and individual appearance. The sporty front seats with bold contours are designed as integral seats.

The three-spoke steering wheel is optionally available as a multifunction variant which can be used to control the radio or navigation unit positioned in the centre of the dashboard. The interior thus reflects the values of a young, active and networked generation. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And more

passion, prime and proxy – the new lines

Three equipment lines (passion, prime and proxy) and a wealth of optional items, some of which were previously the reserve of higher segments, make every smart fortwo or smart forfour a unique gem in its own right. Even in the entry-level version, both models offer a comprehensive scope of safety and comfort features. These include LED daytime driving lights, central locking with radio remote control, visual locking-verification signal and immobiliser, cruise control with limiter (variable speed limitation), exterior temperature indicator with frost warning, instrument cluster with monochrome LCD display and trip computer and electric windows in the front.

passion, prime and proxy are the names of the three lines which serve to upgrade the smart fortwo and smart forfour and provide for differentiation particularly in the interior. Their features include a leather multifunction steering wheel, an instrument cluster with 3.5 colour display and heated seats.

To tie in with the market launch of the new smart generation, the edition #1 will also be available for a limited period. This offers exclusive design features such as a tridion safety cell in lava orange combined with bodypanels/body in white on the fortwo and graphite grey on the forfour.
The multimedia systems meet the highest standards, with comprehensive smartphone integration, real-time navigation and intuitive operation with touchscreen. For the first time, smart is offering the JBL sound system, which produces an impressively full sound. It incorporates a 6-channel DSP amplifier (240 W) in the fortwo and an 8-channel DSP amplifier (320 W) on board the forfour. A total of eight (fortwo) or twelve (forfour) high-performance loudspeakers provide for outstanding listening pleasure.
smart cross connect is a revolutionary new app which is available to customers free of charge from smart for the smart fortwo and smart forfour. smart cross connect offers even more features while on the move and outside of the vehicle. smart parking is among the features which now offer a more user-friendly design and incorporate new functions.

:)
 

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So, fabric is optional on the dashboard – someone had asked about that in another thread.

40 permutations of body panels and Tridion colors. My guess is eight colors of body panels and five colors of Tridion.
 

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DrKillerBee
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Given all the info stated above it will be hard to be unpleased with your options. Being able to get it the way you want it is very important to us smartphiles and it looks like Mercedes has heard that. The stereo/radio/navigation/Bluetooth etc. is a leap forward. Options on exterior and interior colors, engines, transmissions, and interior materials will please almost everyone. I have some reservations on a couple of exterior design items but none are eliminators. The interior design is fantastic with one slight detractor being the position of the shifter...not an eliminator. If the materials are of great quality in the interior it will be a cabin anyone would be excited about...the young and those of us that are "near to walkers."
The more I hear...the more I like.
Mikey likes it!
I am very happy to have my City Flame Cabrio since it is so different from the 453 but I can see a 453 in my garage in the future because it will be an easy car to like and live with everyday. It makes me feel good to know that Mercedes was really listening because for a quite a while it has seemed that they were not.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
453 Dimensions



For reference, the current fortwo is listed as having 340 liters cargo volume. Note that if the rear seats are up, the forfour actually has less cargo space than the fortwo. :)
 

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DrKillerBee
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I'll wait to see what they decide to dish out to the U.S. market.
Your skepticism has merit but as Mercedes addressed so many of the complaints of the 451 I would hope that they will address the complaint of the USA customers of being 3rd class participants. It has been a loud complaint that they could not ignore...I hope they address it.
Isn't Hope a town in Arkansas?? :D
 

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I would hope that they will address the complaint of the USA customers of being 3rd class participants. It has been a loud complaint that they could not ignore...
BUT, they have ignored it now for 6 long years? Don't think that they really need a new 453 to "fix" the ugly stepchild perception?

My skepticism toward this weakness would suggest that there is still a lot of work to be done . . . :yawn:
 

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BUT, they have ignored it now for 6 long years? Don't think that they really need a new 453 to "fix" the ugly stepchild perception?

My skepticism toward this weakness would suggest that there is still a lot of work to be done . . . :yawn:
The sad fact is, the USA isn't one of their larger markets. I think that plays a role. But I believe the single biggest factor is MBUSA's indifference to the brand. In their eyes, smart is a necessary evil for CAFE regulations. Not a brand to be embraced and celebrated. smart as a brand is alive and vibrant, it's MBUSA that puts the damper on it in the USA. Until things are changed from the top down here, smart will always be viewed as the ugly step child...:(

Let's face it, those snobs at the MB dealers don't want to deal with a peasant car...:|
 

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The sad fact is, the USA isn't one of their larger markets.

Until things are changed from the top down here, smart will always be viewed as the ugly step child...:(

Let's face it, those snobs at the MB dealers don't want to deal with a peasant car...:|
Yep, we are so special that we are BOTH the M-B ugly stepchild AND the pimple on the M-B elephant's butt . . .

And as a peasant owner, it's great to eat and drink from the M-B trough when I go in for my annual service . . .
 

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Some members on the MBUSA forum looked down on those folks who bought older Benz cars then came on the forum asking for assistance. When a private forum was formed, those owning older Benz cars flocked to that forum and found help and comradery. Experienced the same with the classic GMC motor home owners. Some of those who bought new looked down on those who bought used. There will always be people with more money who look down on people with less. They may believe we are "inferior" but the joke is really on them!
 
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