Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Cars -

The Fortwo has al­ways been close to my heart for one of the very rea­sons for which it was orig­i­nally con­cep­tu­alised nearly two decades ago – it’s a park­ing space hero. So imag­ine my sur­prise when on the South African launch of the new Fortwo the fleet of Smart ve­hi­cles was parked con­ven­tion­ally in the par­al­lel bays along one of Cape Town’s CBD streets.

The Fortwo’s turn­ing cir­cle, at a minis­cule kerb-to-kerb of just 6,95 me­tres, means that it’s ca­pa­ble of u-turns al­most any­where. The quick ra­tio came in handy, es­pe­cially on the way out of mid-morn­ing grid­lock. The max­i­mum amount of torque on of­fer from the 1,0-litre three- cylin­der en­gine is just 91 N.m, but the Fortwo’s low mass more than makes up for the low fig­ure. Its gear­ing is ideal for zip­ping through traf­fic while eco­nom­i­cally sip­ping just un­der 6 litres/100 km - and that de­spite my en­thu­si­asm for the throt­tle and the rorty bur­ble that gives away the en­gine’s un­even cylin­der count.

As can be ex­pected from a MercedesBenz prod­uct, you can equip your Fortwo with a host of safety fea­tures. The list in­cludes op­tional for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing and Lane Keep­ing As­sist, while the in­stantly recog­nis­able Trid­ion Safety Cell has a twofold pur­pose. It is there as a pas­sive re­minder that you’ll be kept safe in the un­for­tu­nate event of an in­ci­dent and dou­bles as a no­table styling el­e­ment. The de­sign has evolved well from the pre­ced­ing model. From: R179 900

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