The smart fortwo tackles Targa Newfoundland

TORONTO, Sept. 14 /CNW/ - smart Canada today announced that for the first time ever, a smart fortwo will compete in Targa Newfoundland. The smart fortwo may be an unexpected choice for the Targa competition, but its class leading fuel economy, compact dimensions and intelligent design all combine to make the smart fortwo an excellent choice to tackle a course that covers over 2,220 kilometres on some of the most challenging and picturesque roads in North America.

Under the guidance of experienced navigator and co-driver Patrick Ah-Yu, the smart fortwo will be driven by three different journalists from prominent Canadian media outlets over the course of the week. Ah-Yu has a long history of competing in formula cars, and his position as an instructor with the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy gives him the advantage of practical experience to enhance the drivers' confidence in handling advanced driving situations and to provide the necessary guidance to help the drivers negotiate the course safely.

The Grand Touring class in which the smart fortwo passion cabriolet is entered focuses on precision driving and the ability to reach race checkpoints at specific times. Despite its low fuel consumption and low emissions, the smart fortwo offers impressive technical data. With 4 valves per cylinder (12-valve engine) and 2 hydraulically adjustable camshafts, the new engine generates plenty of torque even at low revs. The naturally aspirated 3-cylinder in-line engine with a 999 cc capacity delivers 70 hp and a top speed of 145 km/h. The drivers will have more than enough power at their disposal to safely maneuver through the mapped-out road course.

The smart fortwo has been designed with the highest levels of safety and technology in mind. It exceeds all federal government crash test standards, including a 5-star side crash rating, and the highest scores for front and side crashes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In addition, the vehicle's safety management system is equipped with advanced crash avoidance (active safety) and crash protection (passive safety) systems that come standard on all models. The tridion safety cell is constructed from high-strength steel and is designed to keep occupants protected. The active and passive safety features such as the electronic stability program (esp(R)) with hill start assist, anti-lock braking system (abs) with electronic brake force distribution, full-size 2 stage front airbags and head/thorax side airbags will keep the driver and navigator safely in control.

The smart fortwo's compact size and nimble handling characteristics will serve the team well throughout the competition, and when combined with the driver and co-navigator's skills, it should make for a thrilling event.

Those interested can follow the team's progress on Twitter.com, and also look for updates and photos from the drivers and navigator as the smart fortwo traverses the beautiful province of Newfoundland.

http://twitter.com/smartCanada

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Mercedes-Benz Canada

For further information: For further information: JoAnne Caza, (416) 847-7550, JoAnne.Caza@mercedes-benz.ca; Michael Minielly, (416) 847-7509, Michael.Minielly@mercedes-benz.ca; Further information about smart is available on the internet at www.thesmart.ca

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