The Smart plant in Hambach, eastern France
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Institut für Umweltforschung und -beratung
Müngstener Str. 10
Tel: +49 202 247 17 30
Fax: +49 202 247 17 31
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|This is an archived article published in October 2003
Smart cars achieve top
ratings in ecology survey
The Smart product range has notched up a significant success. After assessing more than 1,000 production cars, the environmental institute Öko-Trend, based in Wuppertal (Germany), ranked the Smart city-coupé and Smart roadster among the ten most environmental-friendly cars in Germany in 2003. The Smart city-coupé took third place in the overall Öko-Trend car ecology ranking 2003, and the newly-launched Smart roadster came sixth. Volkswagen’s Lupo 3L TDI was rated the most ecological car in Germany, followed by the Audi A2 1.2 TDI.
For Smart, the individual ratings in the sub-categories were particularly encouraging. The Smart cabrio and Smart roadster came first and second respectively in the ‘cabriolet’ segment, ahead of the Volkswagen New Beetle Cabrio. Furthermore, the Smart roadster-coupé came top in the ‘coupé’ category and the Smart city-coupé came second in the ‘minicar’ segment.
Öko-Trend told City Mayors that the Smart roadster combined the pleasure of open-top driving with extremely good environment-friendly characteristics. The car was praised for its low emission engine and low weight. The environmentally friendly production of this model earned the roadster additional points. "The relatively new Smart manufacturing plant in Hambach, eastern France, was designed to make car production as ecologically sound as possible," the report’s authors said.
Since 1997 the Öko-Trend Institute has drawn up rankings to provide guidance to ecology minded car buyers. The analysis considers the preservation of resources in the production process, procurement and logistics. Fuel consumption and pollutant emissions are given a special weighting. Recycling and environmental management aspects are also considered in the assessment.
Smart President Andreas Renschler told City Mayors that achieving such a good result with Smart's whole current product range was a sensational success for the company. "Smart has attached great importance to environmental friendliness in all developments, production facilities and vehicle concepts since the company and the brand were founded. I am pleased that we have received such a fantastic acknowledgement of our efforts from an independent organisation," Mr Renschler added.
The Smart roadster which started selling to customers in April 2003
Smart voted best city car
In the ‘New Car Honours 2003’ published by the British magazine Auto Express the Smart cabrio and Smart roadster came top in their respective categories, ahead of competitors such as the Daewoo Matiz and the BMW Z4.
The Smart cabrio takes first place in the category Best city car and the car testers at Auto Express especially praised its compact dimensions with the spacious interior, its handling and the outstanding safety package with ESP and ABS as part of the standard specification. The Daewoo Matiz and Ford Ka come second and third.
The Smart roadster left the competition behind in the category Best roadster and relegated the BMW Z4 and the Porsche Boxster to second and third places. The Smart roadster won the New Car Honours 2003 even before it was launched in Britain. The Auto Express testers are full of praise: "The Smart roadster is one of the most exciting sports cars to hit the sector in years. A simply brilliant back-to-basics sports car."
The Smart family
In 1998 the Smart city-coupé created a new class of car with a new concept and ultra-compact dimensions. The Smart brand thus became established as a synonym for a short, two-and-a-half-metre car with room for two persons. All series-produced cars manufactured under the Smart brand name until now - the Smart city-coupé, the Smart cabrio and the Smart crossblade - have this conspicuous feature.
With the launch of the Smart roadster and the Smart roadster-coupé it is becoming increasingly important to distinguish between the company and the products. Even though the two new roadster versions with a length of 3.43 metres break with the most obvious characteristic of 'a Smart', they clearly conform with all the core features of a car made by Smart. Smart consistently implements the core values of the brand in all areas of its activities: Joie de vivre, functionality and innovation characterise the Smart roadster and Smart roadster-coupé, just as they do the Smart city-coupé, Smart cabrio and Smart crossblade. The FourFour, a four-seater Smart car was launched in April 2004.