Full story at http://www.mlive.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/news-52/1208377489281380.xml&storylist=newsmichiganNo plans for diesel version of Smart car in U.S.
4/16/2008, 4:15 p.m. EDT
By KEN THOMAS
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Smart USA has no plans to offer a diesel-powered version of its Fortwo micro car in the United States, the division's president said Wednesday.
Dave Schembri of Smart USA said the gasoline alternative has not been in its plans because strict regulations in the U.S. would make it difficult to sell a diesel car in all 50 states.
"We tried to get the right mix between performance and fuel economy and the diesel engine doesn't provide the kind of performance, I think, that would meet the expectations of the U.S. consumer," Schembri said at a luncheon of the Washington Automotive Press Association.
Smart is currently developing a gas-electric hybrid vehicle and testing electric vehicles in London that could be available in the fleet within the next three years, he said.
Smart, a division of Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz brand, began selling the 8-foot, 8-inch cars in the U.S. in January. The 1,800-pound car gets 33 miles per gallon in the city and 41 miles per gallon on the highway.