The Smart Fortwo was designed primarily for urban use in European cities, where parking is scarce and fuel economy is of great importance. The Smart Fortwo's length of only 8 ft allows as many as three of the vehicles to be parked in the space normally taken by one standard-length car.
Smart car dealers in the US were a mix of green car specialty companies and exotic car dealers. Approximately 1,000 model year 2004, 2005 and 2006 smart cars were imported with Smart Germany/ Mercedes Benz's cooperation and converted by G&K. The terms of the United Auto Group deal closed the door on the legal importation of the smart, and the smart soon became one of the most desirable collectible exotic cars in the US.
The redesigned Smart Fortwo is available this month. A $99 reservation program was launched by smart USA in March, 2007. This program allows interested parties to place a $99 refundable deposit on the new Fortwo in preparation for the product's launch. To some, the 2008 smart was a disappointment. Its EPA mileage was expected to drop by 20%, and in an apparent attempt to turn the smart into a profitable division, the turbo-charged Mercedes Benz powerplant was replaced by a non-turbo Mitsubishi engine, the interior made more conservative, and the overall dimensions of the car increased.