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A special version of the fuel stingy Smart Fortwo was first shown at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show. It was called the Smart Fortwo Edition Micro Hybrid Drive. Like other Smart limited edition models, this exclusive MHD edition can be purchased now. However, as with the other Smart drive variants and limited edition Smart models it is not for sale in the United States. Daimler has introduced their Micro Hybrid Drive version with three engine options: two petrol versions at 61hp and 71hp, and a diesel version at 45hp - each more economic than the other.

Smart launched this exclusive special model to mark the production start of their new Smart micro hybrid drive. It came with a tridion safety cell done in silver; the body panels were a brilliant crystal white and had stylish nine-spoke alloy wheels.

Why use gas when you are not driving? Or why not try diesel?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks from a Smart Micro Hybrid Drive car during her opening tour over the 2007 International Automobile Show IAA in Frankfurt, Germany.

If you go to the German smart car site you can purchase this Smart MHD version for about $19,700.00. The MHD is available as a left-hand-drive version in and all markets, except North America.

The Smart MHD is rated at 71hp and is a particularly economical variant. The car features a stop/go function to lower emissions and increased gas mileage. The new model consumes 8 percent less fuel in the combined cycle, and 19 percent less fuel in urban traffic.

There is also a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions.

Comparable to the systems previously in place in the Saturn Vue Green Line and some BMW's made for European-specifications, the Smart MHD isn't a complete hybrid.

This means that the Smart can't move on electric power alone. As an alternative, this approach helps reduce fuel expenditure by shutting off the motor.

The technique is straightforward and fully automatic.

The start/stop system is a belt-driven starter generator, replacing both the conventional starter and the alternator. The belt-driven starter generator provides the car's electrical system with power and it also starts the gas engine remarkably quickly in its subsequent function as a starter.

The new sophisticated start/stop function automatically shuts down the engine when fuel would otherwise be unnecessarily consumed. As in stop and go traffic.

The (MHD) micro hybrid drive switches off the engine as soon as the car falls below a speed of 5 mph and you press on the brake pedal.

The motor re-starts as soon as you release the brake pedal. This assures an immediate response and the start/stop function can be neutralized at any time with a switch on the console.

 

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MHD smart for US

Why, oh why can't we get the MHD in North America. I LOVE my 2009 cabrio, which is has now given me 80K miles of happy driving. The electric is great, but not for someone who is not a city dweller, and spends a lot of time of the highway. The perfect improvement on our status quo is the hybrid. Many manufacturers are now producing hybrid models, so who needs to know there's a market for the smart hybrid waiting to catch up with the rest of the world??!!??
 

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Micro Hybrid Drive != Hybrid engine. It's not electric at all. It just turns the engine off when you are stopped. Issues with belts (That I'm not super familiar with) meant that the car was more unreliable, and provided only very minor fuel economy benefits over the standard engine. In short, you don't really want the MHD.
 

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Indeed! I bet it would be a benefit out here in Chicago (where "standstill" defines most traffic in and out of the city until about midnight) but I've heard naughty things about that belt...
 

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Accounts from overseas suggest that the MHD system is badly designed, and we are better off not having it. The belt drive is a big (bad) issue, and it causes a lot of other damage when (not if) it fails.
 

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But I read it on the internet . . .

At some point, "news" can become history unless of course it's 2 a.m. and someone is surfing SCoA . . .

But then again maybe the automotive press can pick this MHD 2007 news up in a Google search and include it along with the 453's all-new aluminum "tridion shell," as they write about the NY Auto Show? :shrug:
 

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The main issue with the mhd is that the starter-alternator's pulley, in it's original design, wasn't absolutely perfectly aligned with the other pulleys on the engine, causing it to wear prematurely and inevitably break. I was lucky in that mine broke either within a block of when it last started the engine or possibly even in the parking lot where I parked and where it wouldn't start again, so there was very little to no damage to the engine. The fix is to add a spacer or two before fitting the starter-alternator to move it over just a millimetre or two so that it's aligned. There was no recall for this, but I believe there should've been.

I use it most of the time, except when my AC or headlights are on, because then I believe the drain on the battery is too much, but I really can't say how much difference it makes to the fuel consumption. :| I just wish they'd set it to switch the engine off about 15 seconds or so after coming to a stop, because as it is now it switches off at every stop, even when you would like to start moving again right away. I would like it to work mainly during longer periods of being stationary, such as at traffic lights or in really heavy traffic jams.
 

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The (MHD) micro hybrid drive switches off the engine as soon as the car falls below a speed of 5 mph and you press on the brake pedal.

The motor re-starts as soon as you release the brake pedal. This assures an immediate response and the start/stop function can be neutralized at any time with a switch on the console.
:wink:
 

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I think the point that was being made is you wouldn't want the engine to turn off as you come to a stop at a stop sign with no other traffic, but if you stopped at a red light, it should turn off. Toggling the switch on and off when you do/do not want the car to turn off If you're toggling the switch, you might as well just be turning the car off and on yourself.
 

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:D Yes, of course, but the default setting is ON and that's where I leave it, as I've said, most of the time. I disable it when driving with my lights and/or AC on though. Don't like flicking it on and off for every possible instance where I may be stopping for shorter or longer periods... The switch isn't in a good location for doing that anyway.
 

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I think the point that was being made is you wouldn't want the engine to turn off as you come to a stop at a stop sign with no other traffic, but if you stopped at a red light, it should turn off. Toggling the switch on and off when you do/do not want the car to turn off If you're toggling the switch, you might as well just be turning the car off and on yourself.
Exactly! Except, if you turned the car off with the ignition you'd also turn the radio off.

We have horrifically low levels of driver compliance to traffic laws here, and in resistance to that I try to stay in the habit of actually coming to a stop at stop signs, amongst other things, but the mhd, in a sense, is discouraging that, if you don't like the idea of the engine turning off every couple of blocks, that is.
 

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I took it in for its annual service on Monday and was told that there was a modification that had to be done to the starter-generator, so I told the guy that mine had already had its starter-generator moved over to align it with the other pulleys, but apparently MB have now issued an instruction for something additional to be done on a "you bring it in for any work and we add three hours' labour for this fix" basis.

Anyhow, they kept it there overnight, which meant that I had to get a taxi home Monday afternoon and walk to work yesterday morning - the joy of living less than 2.5 km from work! - but in the end there was one small part they didn't have, so they couldn't perform the fix anyway and it will have to go back at a time when they've received the part and it'll be more convenient for me.

I intend to ask them what exactly it is they'll be doing this time around that wasn't done in the first instance after my V-belt had broken.
 
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