TRANSPORTATION


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The Smart ForTwo , which debuted on these shores earlier this year, comes in six colors. Green isn’t an option, however (probably because that would just be rubbing it in). After all, every tiny, adorable ForTwo --whether it’s the Pure, the Passion Cabriolet, or the Passion Coupe --is already as green as can be by the time it rolls out of the factory, the so-called Smartville in Hambach, France. From design to construction to performance, the ForTwo is all about being BFFs with the environment.


BODY PANELS, manufactured via injection molding, are completely recyclable. Get into enough accidents and you might end up with your old fender -- or at least part of it.

THE TRIDION SAFETY CELL (the passenger-protecting steel shell, part of which is exposed) is powder-coated instead of painted. The low-energy method means no solvents are necessary and no water is used. Also, tridion sounds kind of awesome.

The CATALYTIC CONVERTER is located near the engine, dramatically cutting down response time. This one is a layup: Since the car is only 8.8 feet long, it would have been difficult to put the catalytic converter very far away anyway.

Carbonmonoxide and hydrocarbons are almost completely neutralized (it’s classified as an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle) thanks to fresh airpropelled by an ELECTRIC PUMP streaming into the Smart’s exhaust when the engine is cold. When the engine is warm, it’s replaced by NPR’s Fresh Air.

The DASHBOARD and WHEELHOUSING COVERS are constructed from 100-percent-recyclable synthetics. (Because 95-percent-recyclable synthetics are for quitters.)

The DASHBOARD AIR SYSTEM was redesigned so that 20 individual components were streamlined into an all-in-one molded unit, meaning Smartville’s carbon footprint goes down a size, maybe two, depending on the style of carbon shoe.

The Smart gets up to 41 miles per gallon , due to a skimpy weight of just 1,800 POUNDS. In comparison, the Toyota Prius gets an average of 46 miles per gallon and tips the scales at a relatively burly 3,000 pounds. Watch out for bikini season, Prius.

An ALL-ELECTRIC Smart model is currently undergoing testing in the UK. When that hits the market, owners could burn old tires in their backyards while wildly spraying aerosol cans and still be considered friends of the environment.