Daimler unveiled the third generation smart fortwo in Berlin, along with the first rear-wheel driven forfour. Developed in partnership with Renault, the new fortwo and forfour share the base rear-engine and rear-wheel drive architecture as seen on the Renault Twingo. While the previous fortwo has always been rear wheel drive, this is a first for the forfour as the previous forfour was related to the Mitsubishi Colt that came in front-engine and front wheel drive format.
Powering the fortwo and forfour are a new range of three-cylinder engines mounted at the back of the vehicle. Two engines are available at launch, a 999cc three-cylinder produces 71hp and 91Nm of torque, and another one is an 898cc turbocharged three-cylinder with 90hp and 135Nm of torque. Another 60hp powerplant will be added to the range afterwards. All the engines can be had with either a five-speed manual or the twinamic six-speed dual clutch transmission.
The exterior, with new FUN.ctional design philosophy evolved the fortwo with elongated front section creating a “one-and-a-half box” design as opposed to the one-box design on the previous smart fortwo. The fortwo is still compact at 2,690mm long, 1,660mm wide, and 1,550mm tall; while the forfour adds around 800mm to the length. Wheelbase on the fortwo and the forfour are 1,873mm and 2,494mm respectively.
The trademark tridion safety cell is still present on both fortwo and forfour making them recognizable as smart cars. Although new styling touches have been added such as the honeycomb pattern on the grille and lower intake and the U-shaped daytime running lights which also pulsates to greet the driver upon unlocking the vehicle. Split-open tailgate is reserved only on the fortwo, but forfour is just as practical with its rear doors opening by almost 90 degrees to ease access. Rear cargo space is 260 litres in the fortwo and 185 litres in the forfour.
The wheel sizes are stagerred, with narrower front tyres and high outside wheel turn angle contributes to the super tight turning circle at only 6.95m for the fortwo and 8.65m for the forfour. The chassis features McPherson suspension at the front and De-Dion rear axle, and the steering is mechanical rack-and-pinion type. The optional Sports suspension adds firmer springs and drops the car 10mm lower to the ground.
On the inside, “loop” design element is used on the dashboard and doors. The honeycomb pattern is repeated on the speaker holes, and most of the interior surface can be covered in different kinds if fabric. A hovering infotainment cluster reside in the middle, with controls available via the multifunction steering wheel. The optional touchscreen multimedia system offers smartphone integration, and a 240W (320W in the forfour) JBL sound system with eight (twelve in the forfour) speaker is also available on both cars.
Apart from the tridion safety cell, smart fortwo and forfour are equipped with front airbags, driver kneebag, side airbags, cruise control, ABS, ASR, and ESP; and also Crosswind Assist as standard. Forward collision warning and Lane Keeping Assist are also available on the options list.
The fortwo and forfour comes in three equipment lines called passion, prime, and proxy; but at launch there’s the limited edition #1 with lava orange tridion cell and white bodypanels on the fortwo or graphite grey bodypanels on the forfour. Production will be at the same Smartville manufacturing plant in Hambach, France.