Chic, urban and smart

Story by Jeremy R. Chua, pictures by Azfar Hashim
20 Oct 2008

...that's the smart fortwo cdi Jatropha - and it's green too!


Daimler Southeast Asia has brought ten smart city vehicles into Singapore as part of their two year trial aimed at testing and optimizing alternative energies.  This trial is geared towards Daimler’s goal of “sustainable mobility and a cleaner future”.    

You’re probably wondering about that word - “Jatropha” - right? 

Time for a quick science lesson then - Jatropha is actually an agrestal plant that produces hazelnut-sized seeds.  These seeds yield large amounts of oil when pressed, and after a refining process (let’s not delve too deep into chemistry here), it can then be used as biodiesel.

Compared to normal diesels, Jatropha-based fuel only produces half of the unburned hydrocarbon emissions, and only a third of the particulate emissions. The car we drove, was powered by a blend of 90 percent diesel and 10 percent Jatropha biofuel. Had we managed to use up all the fuel, we would've needed to return the car to Daimler immediately - as you simply can’t just drive into a petrol station and ask for the “Jatropha blend”. Well, for now anyway.

Our test car was powered by an 800cc, 3-cylinder turbo common-rail direct injection diesel engine. Driven gently, Daimler claims that consumption can be as low as 3.3 liters/100 km. This engine is mated to an automated manual 5-speed transmission. 

Power is rated at 45bhp at 3,800rpm, and torque at 110Nm between 2,000 to 2,500rpm.  Small figures, but remember, this car is not only small - but at 730kg, very light too!


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