PARIS – DaimlerChrysler AG expands the offerings of its Smart lineup for the cult-like following the minicar has attracted in Europe.

Premiers at the auto show here include the Smart Forfour CDI and the Brabus Sportstyle limited edition.

With only 500 models scheduled to be produced, the limited edition will be launched in early 2005, says Andreas Renschler, member of the divisional board-Mercedes Car Group Smart Product Div.

The vehicle features a 1.5L 122-hp engine, a sport suspension, a striking front spoiler and sports muffler. The interior is dressed with a leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel, gear knob and handle brake. There also is a panoramic glass roof.

Smart Forfour CDI

“This offers a small foretaste of the exclusive, sporty top line, the Smart Forfour Brabus, which we will present in the spring,” says Renschler.

The Forfour offers 1.5L 3-cyl. diesel engines rated at 68 hp and 95 hp, paired with an automatic 6-speed transmission.

Renschler says the Fortwo CDI is being introduced this month in Canada, with Smart’s first North American showroom opening Oct. 4 in Toronto.

“This represents the first step for Smart in the growing urban centers on the North American continent,” he says. “We are certain that Smart will be an attractive alternative to conventional cars. In 2006, we will launch our fourth model range, the Smart Formore, in Europe and the U.S.

bcorbett@primediabusiness.com