Previously reported, Smart was rumored to offer its own version of the start-stop fuel-saving technology later this year. Well at a recent media event, Thomas Weber, head of research and development for DaimlerChrysler, confirmed that Smart will offer start-stop engine option starting in October 2007.
Weber also confirmed future hybrid and electric powertrains for Smart cars. “Both products are precursors of a series of specially low-emission vehicles to come,” Weber said.
The start-stop technology was created by Smart engineers working with Mercedes-Benz Development. The function automatically switches the engine off when the vehicle is stationary and restarts when the driver hits the accelerator.
According to recent reports, the Smart brand lost nearly 3.9 billion euros ($5.21 billion) between 2003 and 2006. The loss had an affect on Mercedes Group, which would have recorded a profit of more than 4 billion euros ($5.34) last year.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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