Wheel Chasers

Unlocking the Efficiency: A Dive into the World of Smart Cars

Introduction to the Smart Car

When most people think of cars, they picture gas-guzzling machines that require constant maintenance and are expensive to operate. However, the smart car offers a different kind of driving experience.

These compact cars are designed with efficiency and sustainability in mind, making them an attractive option for those who want to minimize their environmental impact while also saving money on fuel and maintenance costs. In this article, we will explore the history and evolution of the smart car, as well as the features and benefits that make them a great choice for modern drivers.

Whether you’re a car enthusiast or just curious about the latest trends in automotive technology, there’s something to learn here for everyone.

History of the Smart Car

The origins of the smart car can be traced back to the mid-1980s, when a Swiss watchmaker named Nicolas Hayek took over the struggling Swiss car company, Swatch. Hayek had a vision for a new kind of car: one that would be small, efficient, and environmentally friendly.

He teamed up with Daimler-Benz, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, to bring his vision to life. The result was the smart fortwo, a two-seater car that was just over eight feet long.

The first-generation fortwo was released in 1998, and it quickly caught on with urban drivers who appreciated its small size and easy maneuverability. By 2004, the smart car had made its way to the United States, where it was sold by a new division called smart USA.

Over the years, the smart car has undergone several changes and updates. In 2007, a four-door version called the smart forfour was released, but it was only sold in Europe.

In 2014, the third-generation fortwo was released, featuring updated styling, improved safety features, and better fuel efficiency. Today, the smart car is sold in over 40 countries around the world.

Features and Benefits of the Smart Car

One of the main features of the smart car is its size. At just over eight feet long, it’s small enough to fit into tight parking spaces and navigate through narrow city streets.

This makes it a great choice for urban drivers who need a car for commuting or running errands. The compact size also means that the smart car is more fuel-efficient than larger vehicles, which can help drivers save money on gas.

Another benefit of the smart car is its low maintenance costs. Because it’s a smaller car with fewer parts than larger vehicles, repairs and maintenance are generally less expensive.

Additionally, the smart car’s compact size and lightweight construction make it easier to handle and maneuver than heavier cars, which can be a benefit for novice drivers or those who struggle with parallel parking. In terms of safety, the smart car has come a long way since its early days.

The latest models feature advanced safety features like airbags, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes. Additionally, the smart car’s small size can actually be an advantage in certain kinds of accidents.

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the smart fortwo had a lower fatality rate than many larger cars in the same class. Finally, the smart car is a great choice for drivers who prioritize sustainability.

Because it’s a smaller car with a more efficient engine, the smart car produces less greenhouse gas emissions than many larger vehicles. Additionally, the smart car is often made with recyclable materials, which reduces waste and saves energy during the manufacturing process.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the smart car is a unique and innovative vehicle that has come a long way since its inception in the mid-1980s. With its small size, low maintenance costs, and advanced safety features, it’s a great option for modern drivers who want to save money and reduce their environmental impact.

Whether you’re navigating busy city streets or cruising down the highway, the smart car is a fun and efficient choice that’s worth considering. 3.

Types of Smart Cars and Their Features

When it comes to smart cars, there are a handful of different models with unique features and capabilities. Here are some of the most popular types of smart cars to consider:

1.

Smart Fortwo: The original smart car, the Fortwo is a two-seater vehicle that is ideal for city driving. It’s only 8.8 feet long and 5.1 feet wide, which makes it incredibly easy to park in tight spaces.

The latest models feature a rear-mounted turbocharged engine that produces 89 horsepower, which is plenty of power for a car of its size. The Fortwo also features a spacious cabin with high-quality materials and a slew of modern tech features.

2. Smart Forfour: As the name suggests, the Forfour is a four-seater car that is slightly larger than the Fortwo.

It’s still quite compact, measuring just over 13 feet in length, but it offers a bit more space and versatility than its two-seater counterpart. The Forfour features the same engine as the Fortwo, which provides quick acceleration and nimble handling.

It also has a spacious interior with adjustable seats that can be configured in a variety of ways. 3.

Smart EQ Fortwo: The latest model of the Fortwo, the EQ is an all-electric vehicle that is designed for maximum efficiency and sustainability. It features a 17.6 kWh battery pack that provides up to 70 miles of range on a single charge.

The electric motor generates 80 horsepower and 118 lb-ft of torque, making it just as powerful as the gas-powered version. The EQ also has faster acceleration and a smaller turning radius, which makes it even more agile and responsive than the gasoline-powered Fortwo.

4. Smart Roadster: Although it’s no longer in production, the Smart Roadster is worth mentioning for its unique design and capabilities.

This two-seater sports car featured a retractable hardtop roof, which allowed drivers to enjoy the open air on sunny days. It was powered by a turbocharged engine that produced up to 80 horsepower and had a top speed of 112 mph.

The Roadster also had a rear-wheel-drive configuration that provided exceptional handling and balance. 4.

Environmental Benefits of Smart Cars

Smart cars are often touted as one of the most environmentally-friendly vehicles on the market today. Here are some of the key environmental benefits that smart cars offer:

1.

Fuel Efficiency: One of the primary environmental benefits of smart cars is their fuel efficiency. Because they are smaller and lighter than traditional cars, they require less fuel to operate.

The newest Smart Fortwo models have been rated at 33 miles per gallon in the city and 39 mpg on the highway, which is significantly higher than many larger vehicles. The electric EQ model offers even greater efficiency, with zero emissions and minimal impact on the environment.

2. Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions: In addition to their improved fuel economy, smart cars also produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than larger vehicles.

This is especially true for electric models, which don’t produce any emissions at all. By driving a smart car, drivers can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and help to mitigate the effects of climate change.

3. Use of Sustainable Materials: Many smart cars are made with recyclable materials and sustainable production processes that minimize waste and conserve resources.

For example, the Fortwo is made with up to 85% recyclable materials, which reduces the environmental impact of its manufacturing process. This focus on sustainability is not just good for the environment, but also aligns well with the values of eco-conscious drivers.

4. Reduced Traffic Congestion: By being smaller and more agile than traditional cars, smart cars can also help to reduce traffic congestion in urban areas.

Drivers can fit into smaller parking spots and navigate through narrow streets and alleys with ease, which can help to alleviate the traffic jams that often plague larger, less maneuverable vehicles. This reduction in traffic not only saves drivers time and frustration, but also helps to reduce emissions from idling cars during rush hour.

In conclusion, smart cars offer a number of features and benefits that make them an attractive option for modern drivers. From their compact size and easy maneuverability to their environmental sustainability and reduced maintenance costs, there are plenty of reasons to consider a smart car for your next vehicle purchase.

Whether you opt for a gas-powered Fortwo or an all-electric EQ, you’ll be doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint and promote a more sustainable future. 5.

How Smart Cars Work

Smart cars are unique vehicles that operate with a combination of advanced technology, efficient design, and sustainable energy sources. Here’s a closer look at how smart cars work:

1.

Frame and Design: The frame of a smart car is designed to be as lightweight as possible, which increases its fuel efficiency and improves its handling. Smart cars also feature aerodynamic designs that minimize wind resistance and drag, which further enhances their efficiency.

2. Engine: Depending on the make and model, smart cars may be powered by either gas or electricity.

Gas-powered smart cars feature a three-cylinder engine that is mounted in the rear of the car. This layout provides better weight distribution and traction, which improves handling.

Electric smart cars are powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that typically provides between 70 and 80 miles of range per charge. 3.

Transmission: Smart cars use a unique transmission system called the “automated manual transmission.” This system operates like a manual transmission, but it is controlled electronically instead of with a clutch pedal. This allows for smoother shifting and improved fuel efficiency.

Some smart cars also have a “comfort” mode that provides a more relaxed driving experience. 4.

Safety Features: Smart cars are designed with a variety of safety features that protect drivers and passengers in the event of a collision. These include airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and more.

Because they are smaller than traditional cars, smart cars are able to avoid obstacles with greater ease, which can help to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. 6.

Engine and Transmission of Smart Cars

The engine and transmission of smart cars are some of the most important components that enable these vehicles to operate with maximum efficiency. Here’s a closer look at these critical systems:

1.

Gas-Powered Engine: The gas-powered smart car features a three-cylinder engine that is mounted in the rear of the car. This engine is capable of producing up to 89 horsepower, which provides plenty of power for a compact vehicle.

The engine also features a turbocharger that boosts its performance and fuel efficiency. 2.

Electric Motor: The electric smart car uses an electric motor that is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. The motor is capable of producing up to 80 horsepower and 118 lb-ft of torque, which delivers quick acceleration and responsive handling.

Because it doesn’t require any gasoline, the electric motor produces no emissions and has minimal impact on the environment. 3.

Transmission: Both the gas-powered and electric smart cars use a unique transmission system called the “automated manual transmission.” This system operates like a traditional manual transmission, but it is controlled electronically instead of with a clutch pedal. This allows for smoother shifting and improved fuel efficiency.

Some models also have a “comfort” mode that provides a more relaxed driving experience. 4.

Battery Pack: The lithium-ion battery pack used in the electric smart car is one of its most important components. This high-capacity battery is able to provide between 70 and 80 miles of range on a single charge, which is enough for most daily commutes.

The battery can be recharged using a standard household outlet or a dedicated charging station, and it typically takes between 3 and 6 hours to fully charge. 5.

Regenerative Braking: Another unique feature of the electric smart car is its regenerative braking system. This system captures the energy that is normally lost during braking and stores it in the battery pack, which helps to extend the vehicle’s range.

The system also reduces wear and tear on the brakes and improves overall efficiency. In conclusion, the engine and transmission are critical components that enable smart cars to operate with maximum efficiency and sustainability.

Whether you opt for a gas-powered or electric model, you’ll enjoy quick acceleration, responsive handling, and advanced safety features that make smart cars a great choice for modern drivers. By choosing a smart car, you’ll be doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint and promote a more sustainable future for all.

7. Benefits of Owning a Smart Car

Owning a smart car comes with a plethora of benefits that make them an attractive option for modern drivers.

Here are some of the key advantages of owning a smart car:

1. Fuel Efficiency: One of the most significant benefits of owning a smart car is its fuel efficiency.

Smart cars are designed to be lightweight and aerodynamic, which allows them to use less fuel compared to larger, heavier vehicles. The compact size and efficient engine of smart cars result in fewer trips to the gas station and lower fuel costs, saving owners money in the long run.

2. Environmental Sustainability: Smart cars have a smaller carbon footprint compared to conventional vehicles.

With their improved fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, smart cars contribute less to air pollution and global warming. Electric smart cars, in particular, produce zero tailpipe emissions, making them an excellent choice for eco-conscious individuals who want to reduce their impact on the environment.

3. Cost Savings: Smart cars are not only fuel-efficient, but they also offer cost savings in other aspects of ownership.

Their compact size means lower insurance premiums, as they are considered lower risk due to their smaller footprint. Additionally, smart cars typically have lower maintenance costs, thanks to their simpler mechanics and fewer parts compared to larger vehicles.

Owners can expect to spend less on routine maintenance and repairs over time. 4.

Easy Maneuverability: With their compact size and nimble handling, smart cars are ideal for navigating through congested city streets and tight parking spaces. The small turning radius allows drivers to maneuver easily in crowded areas, making parking a breeze in cramped urban environments.

This convenience is highly valued by city dwellers who often face challenges finding suitable parking spots. 5.

Safety Features: Smart cars are equipped with an array of safety features that prioritize driver and passenger protection. These features often include multiple airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock braking systems, and traction control.

Despite their small size, smart cars have proven to be safe, with innovative safety measures that work effectively to mitigate potential risks. 8.

Smart Cars and Safety Features

Safety is a top priority for many drivers, and smart cars are designed with an array of advanced safety features that help ensure the protection of occupants. Here’s a closer look at the safety features found in smart cars:

1.

Airbags: Smart cars are typically equipped with multiple airbags to protect drivers and passengers in the event of a collision. These airbags deploy in a fraction of a second to cushion occupants and reduce the risk of injury during impact.

2. Electronic Stability Control: Electronic stability control (ESC) is a crucial safety feature that helps prevent skids and loss of control.

The system continuously monitors the vehicle’s movement and adjusts the brakes and power distribution to individual wheels to keep the car stable on the road. 3.

Anti-lock Braking System: The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is designed to prevent wheel lock-up during emergency stops, allowing drivers to maintain steering control while applying maximum braking force. This feature enhances overall safety and helps avoid accidents in critical situations.

4. Traction Control: Traction control is especially important in adverse weather conditions or on slippery surfaces.

This system detects wheel slippage and applies braking force to the individual wheels with poor traction, improving stability and minimizing the risk of skidding. 5.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems: Many smart cars also come equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). These include features such as lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring.

ADAS technologies act as an extra set of eyes on the road, alerting drivers to potential hazards and helping to prevent accidents. 6.

Crash Safety Ratings: Smart cars have received favorable crash safety ratings from organizations such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These independent organizations conduct rigorous crash tests to evaluate a vehicle’s safety performance and determine its crashworthiness.

In conclusion, owning a smart car comes with numerous benefits, including fuel efficiency, environmental sustainability, cost savings, easy maneuverability, and advanced safety features. With their compact size and innovative design, smart cars offer a compelling option for drivers looking for an efficient, eco-friendly, and safe mode of transportation.

Whether it’s the reduced environmental impact, lower maintenance costs, or the peace of mind that comes with advanced safety features, owning a smart car provides a well-rounded ownership experience. 9.

Smart Cars and Fuel Efficiency

Smart cars have gained a reputation for their excellent fuel efficiency, making them an ideal choice for drivers looking to save money on fuel costs and reduce their environmental impact. Here’s a closer look at why smart cars are known for their fuel efficiency and the technologies that contribute to their exceptional mileage:

1.

Lightweight Design: One of the primary factors that contribute to smart cars’ fuel efficiency is their lightweight design. These vehicles are built with lightweight materials, such as aluminum and high-strength steel, which reduces their overall weight.

A lighter car requires less energy to accelerate and maintain speed, leading to improved fuel economy. 2.

Aerodynamics: Smart cars are also designed with aerodynamics in mind. Their sleek and streamlined shape reduces wind resistance, allowing the car to move through the air more efficiently.

With less aerodynamic drag, smart cars require less energy to overcome air resistance, resulting in better fuel efficiency. 3.

Efficient Engines: Despite their small size, smart cars incorporate efficient engines that maximize fuel economy. Gasoline-powered smart cars typically feature small yet powerful three-cylinder engines.

These engines are designed with advanced technologies such as direct injection and turbocharging to optimize combustion and improve fuel efficiency. 4.

Electric Powertrains: Electric smart cars take fuel efficiency to another level by running solely on electricity. They eliminate the need for gasoline altogether, resulting in zero tailpipe emissions and significantly reduced fuel costs.

Electric smart cars typically feature advanced battery technology and regenerative braking systems, which capture and store energy during deceleration, further improving their efficiency. 5.

Start-Stop Technology: Many smart cars feature start-stop technology, which automatically shuts off the engine when the car comes to a stop, such as at a traffic light or in heavy traffic. When the driver releases the brake pedal, the engine quickly restarts.

This technology helps reduce fuel consumption by eliminating unnecessary idling and only using fuel when necessary. 6.

Eco-Driving Modes: Some smart cars offer eco-driving modes that optimize the vehicle’s performance for maximum fuel efficiency. These modes adjust various vehicle systems, such as throttle response and transmission shift points, to prioritize fuel economy.

By selecting an eco-driving mode, drivers can further enhance their smart car’s fuel efficiency. 10.

Gas Mileage of Smart Cars and Comparison with Other Cars

Smart cars are well-known for their impressive gas mileage, allowing drivers to save money on fuel costs while minimizing their carbon footprint. Let’s examine the gas mileage of smart cars and how they compare to other vehicles in their class:

1.

Smart Fortwo: The gas-powered Smart Fortwo is renowned for its exceptional gas mileage. The latest models boast an estimated fuel economy of around 33 miles per gallon (mpg) in city driving and 39 mpg on the highway.

These figures make the Fortwo an economical choice for urban commuting and long-distance highway driving alike. The electric Smart Fortwo EQ offers even greater efficiency, with an EPA-estimated range of up to 70 miles per charge, making it a zero-emissions option for city drivers.

2. Subcompact Cars: When compared to other subcompact cars on the market, Smart Fortwo’s gas mileage stands out.

For instance, the Honda Fit, another popular subcompact car, offers an estimated fuel economy of around 31 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway. Likewise, the Ford Fiesta achieves roughly 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

Despite being smaller in size, the Smart Fortwo can match or surpass the gas mileage of its competitors. 3.

Compact Cars: Smart cars also hold their ground when compared to compact cars. The Toyota Corolla, a popular compact car, achieves approximately 30 mpg in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway.

Similarly, the Honda Civic offers around 32 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. Although these compact cars may offer more passenger and cargo space, the Smart Fortwo’s smaller size and efficient design allow it to provide competitive gas mileage figures.

4. Hybrid and Electric Cars: While the fuel efficiency of smart cars is commendable, it’s important to note that hybrid and electric vehicles generally offer even higher gas mileage or equivalent efficiency in terms of electric range.

Hybrid models, such as the Toyota Prius, can achieve over 50 mpg, blending gasoline and electric power to optimize fuel efficiency. Electric cars, such as the Tesla Model 3 or the Nissan Leaf, produce zero emissions and offer gas mileage equivalent in terms of electric range.

In conclusion, smart cars are known for their excellent gas mileage, thanks to their lightweight design, efficient engines, aerodynamics, and advanced technologies. Whether comparing gas mileage within their class or against larger vehicles, smart cars often outperform expectations and provide fuel efficiency on par with or better than their counterparts.

With their impressive gas mileage, smart cars offer drivers the opportunity to reduce fuel costs, lower their environmental impact, and enjoy a more economical and sustainable driving experience. 11.

Factors Affecting Gas Mileage of Smart Cars

Several factors can influence the gas mileage of smart cars, impacting how efficient they are on the road. By understanding these factors, drivers can make informed decisions and optimize their smart car’s fuel economy.

Here are the key factors that affect gas mileage in smart cars:

1. Driving Habits: How an individual drives their smart car has a significant impact on gas mileage.

Aggressive driving, such as rapid acceleration and hard braking, can result in poor fuel efficiency. Smoother acceleration, maintaining a steady speed, and anticipating traffic can help maximize gas mileage.

2. Speed: The speed at which a smart car is driven affects its fuel economy.

Higher speeds usually result in increased wind resistance, which can decrease gas mileage. Driving at or slightly below the speed limit helps maintain optimal fuel efficiency for smart cars.

3. Maintenance: Regular vehicle maintenance plays a crucial role in maintaining optimal fuel efficiency.

A well-maintained smart car with clean air filters, properly inflated tires, and regular oil changes allows the engine to operate more efficiently, ultimately improving gas mileage. 4.

Terrain: The terrain on which a smart car is driven can impact its fuel efficiency. Driving uphill or through hilly areas usually requires more power and can decrease gas mileage.

In contrast, driving on flat terrain or downhill can help improve fuel economy. 5.

Vehicle Load: The weight carried by a smart car affects its gas mileage. Carrying unnecessary cargo or heavy items increases the vehicle’s overall weight, resulting in decreased fuel efficiency.

Removing excess weight from the vehicle can help improve gas mileage. 6.

Weather Conditions: Extreme weather conditions, such as extreme heat or cold, can impact a smart car’s fuel efficiency. In cold weather, engines take longer to warm up, and energy is needed to heat the cabin, reducing gas mileage.

Similarly, operating the air conditioning system in hot weather can decrease fuel economy. 7.

Traffic Conditions: Stop-and-go traffic lowers fuel efficiency. Consistently braking and accelerating consume more fuel.

Whenever possible, avoiding heavy traffic or using alternative routes with fewer stops can improve gas mileage. 12.

Tips to Improve Gas Mileage in Smart Cars

While smart cars are already fuel-efficient, there are several tips drivers can follow to maximize their gas mileage. Implementing these habits can help achieve even greater efficiency and reduce fuel costs.

Here are some tips to improve gas mileage in smart cars:

1. Drive Smoothly: Avoid rapid acceleration and sudden braking.

Smooth and gradual acceleration, along with coasting to decelerate instead of braking abruptly, can significantly improve gas mileage. 2.

Maintain Steady Speeds: Whenever possible, try to maintain a steady speed while driving. Frequent speed fluctuations can decrease fuel efficiency.

Utilizing cruise control on highways can help maintain a consistent speed and optimize gas mileage. 3.

Reduce Idle Time: Idle time consumes fuel unnecessarily. If a driver expects to be stopped for an extended period, such as at a long traffic light or in a parking lot, it is more fuel-efficient to turn off the engine.

However, be mindful of safety and local laws when doing so. 4.

Plan Efficient Routes: Plan routes in advance to minimize unnecessary mileage. Consider avoiding congested areas, heavy traffic, and routes with frequent stops, as these can decrease gas mileage.

Utilize apps or GPS systems that can provide real-time traffic updates to choose the most efficient route. 5.

Minimize Vehicle Load: Remove excess weight or cargo from the smart car to maximize fuel efficiency. Carrying unnecessary items or excessive cargo can increase fuel consumption.

Traveling light can help improve gas mileage. 6.

Keep Tires Properly Inflated: Ensuring that the tires are properly inflated is essential for optimal fuel economy. Underinflated tires increase rolling resistance and reduce gas mileage.

Regularly check and maintain the recommended tire pressure according to the smart car’s specifications. 7.

Use Air Conditioning Wisely: Using the air conditioning system places an additional load on the engine, leading to decreased fuel efficiency. While driving in hot weather, use air conditioning sparingly or try utilizing the vehicle’s ventilation system for cooling.

8. Proper Maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial for optimal fuel efficiency.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for oil changes, air filter replacements, and overall vehicle inspections. Regular maintenance helps ensure that the smart car’s engine operates at peak performance.

9. Consider Alternative Transportation: In situations where travel distances are short, consider alternative forms of transportation such as walking, biking, or public transportation.

By reducing the use of the smart car, fuel economy is improved, and environmental impact is minimized. By implementing these tips, drivers can optimize their smart car’s fuel efficiency, reduce fuel costs, and minimize their overall environmental impact.

The combination of smart car design and conscious driving habits can result in a more sustainable and economical driving experience. 13.

Cost Savings with Smart Cars

One of the notable advantages of owning a smart car is the potential for significant cost savings. From purchase price to fuel efficiency and maintenance costs, smart cars offer several ways to save money over the long term.

Here’s a closer look at the cost savings associated with owning a smart car:

1. Purchase Price: Smart cars often have a lower purchase price compared to larger vehicles.

Their smaller size and simplified construction generally result in a more affordable price tag. This makes smart cars an attractive option for budget-conscious drivers or those looking for a more economical choice.

2. Fuel Efficiency: One of the most significant cost savings with smart cars comes from their fuel efficiency.

With their lightweight design, aerodynamics, and efficient engines, smart cars require less fuel to achieve the same distances as larger vehicles. This reduced fuel consumption leads to substantial savings at the pump over time.

3. Lower Insurance Premiums: Smart cars are typically associated with lower insurance premiums.

Due to their smaller size and limited passenger capacity, smart cars are considered low-risk vehicles. Insurance companies often charge lower rates for smart cars, resulting in ongoing savings on insurance premiums.

4. Reduced Maintenance Costs: Maintaining a smart car is generally more cost-effective than larger vehicles.

Smart cars have simpler mechanics, which can translate to lower repair costs. Additionally, smart car parts and components tend to be more accessible and affordable compared to those of larger, luxury cars.

Overall, the reduced complexity and ease of maintenance contribute to cost savings. 5.

Affordable Spare Parts: In the event that a smart car requires repair or replacement parts, owners can take advantage of the relatively affordable price of spare parts. Compared to larger and more specialized vehicles, the availability and cost of smart car spare parts are often more favorable.

6. Parking Savings: Smart cars’ compact size provides an advantage when it comes to parking.

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