Daimler lines up tiny two-seat Smart model

Germany's Daimler AG has lined up a new version of its tiny, two-seat Smart model in hopes the car would not only grab attention with its peculiar design but also pull more cash to boost the company's profits as well.

Daimler lines up tiny two-seat Smart modelThe car was yesterday introduced at Berlin's Tempodrom event centre by Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche.

The latest version which is somewhat wider, measures the same length at only 2.7 metres or 8 feet 10 inches and has a short front hood where the old one had none.

According to analysts, the new Smart had a chance to make a greater contribution to company profits as it shared many parts with Daimler partner Renault's Twingo, which helped lower costs.

The event yesterday witnessed a head-on collision of the new Smart car against a 2.2-tonne limousine to prove it could handle an impact with a vehicle more than twice its size - and the occupants could walk away from the crash.

The all-new Smart ''ForTwo'', as it is known, has a turning circle that is less than that of any car on sale today. It is capable of making a U-turn in a space not much bigger than the width of a single lane.

The diminutive car known for its tall and skinny appearance now incorporates technology that would stop it being blown side-to-side by strong crosswinds or a passing truck.

The original Smart ForTwo, was jointly developed in 1998 by Swiss watch maker Swatch and German car maker Mercedes-Benz in a factory in France.

According to the company, the new third-generation model would offer the highest levels of occupant safety ever fitted to a car of its size.

Without making any predictions about the safety score of the Smart car, expected later this year, the company confirmed it would set a new benchmark for a car of its size thanks to the extensive use of lightweight but ultra-high strength steels and more advanced occupant restraint systems.

To that end, the new Smart comes with more airbags than seats and in total there are five airbags: two in the front, two for the side and one for the driver's knee.

News Corp Australia internal testing had shown, the car exceeded the five-star scoring requirements in the offset frontal crash test by independent authority ANCAP.