Growing concerns about the price of gasoline and America's energy independence have made the concept of driving an ultra small, fuel-sipping city car like the smart fortwo
more palatable than ever before. Helping to allay reservations about the pint-sized smart's safety was a display at the 2008 LA Auto Show showing off the car's Tridian safety cell, which imparts the fortwo with the crash resistance of a much larger vehicle. Most of smart's 2009 lineup carries over from 2008 with the notable exception of a new limited-edition Brabus model that features more aggressive body styling, bigger wheels, lowered suspension, sporty gearshift and E-brake levers along with a host of Brabus badges. Unfortunately the Brabus model does not improve performance. So if you're the kind of driver who wants to look fast without actually driving fast, be prepared to part with around $18,000 for the smart fortwo Brabus Coupe
and around $21,000 for the Convertible
version -- assuming you can get your name on the waiting list.