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Finally it appears that the Smart — originally owned by Mercedes-Benz and the people from Swatch, now solely a Benz product — will be arriving in the States in time for the 2005 model year.

DaimlerChrysler is teaming up with Mitsubishi for the second generation Smart. The new Smart will switch from rear-wheel to front-wheel drive, possibly with an all-wheel-drive option. The Smarts will be powered by Mitsubishi-developed engines and a Mitsu four-speed automatic transmission, and will be built in Brazil for U.S. consumption.

Sources tell us the four-door hatchback called ForFour (formally referred to as the Family Coupe) will be the first to arrive in the States. Other versions such as the Smart Roadster and City Coupe — both shown here — may arrive later. The modular body structure allows for easy design variations, and like the Crossblade open-air two-seater, the cars are all designed with a safety cell to allay concerns about their petite dimensions.

2001 CL Type S
2001 Lexus RX300 Silversport
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