9 February 2004

Two new Smarts this week: one a budget hatchback and the other a bike-engined rocket.

The four-door Forfour goes on sale in September, and this week Smart unveiled a new entry model called Blackbasic (below right). It will cost around £8500; only 3000 will be built.

Regular Forfours will cost from around £9500 for the 75bhp 1.1 model. Standard equipment includes stability control, anti-lock brakes and six airbags; all models have rear seats that slide and fold.However, the Blackbasic misses out on the radio, air-con and alloy wheels fitted to standard models, as well as their contrasting paintwork.

At the other end of the spectrum, Z Cars in East Yorkshire has created a motorbike-engined Smart (pictured). The GSXR1000 motor develops 180bhp; enough for a top speed of 130mph or more depending on gearing, and 0-60mph in about 4.0sec.

The Z Smart kit goes on sale in April for around £6000 plus VAT. For more information, call 01964 527725.

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