Mercedes-Benz’ small cousin, the smart, is growing; smart launched in Paris last week a new generation of fortwo as well as a four door model, the forfour.
“We are proud that we have been able to make the fortwo with the same length of 2.69 meters even safer and altogether more grown up,” said Markus Riedel, Head of Development at smart. “We even succeeded in reducing the turning circle to 6.95 meters, setting a new best. The fortwo shares its architecture with the new forfour. We have tailored both of the vehicles to the needs of modern-day city traffic.”
The new models share their basic architecture with the new Renault Twingo, another very small city-oriented vehicle.
The new smart generation will be launched in Europe this coming November. The price for the new smart fortwo will be very close to the current model, said smart, while a similarly equipped forfour is expected to cost an average of $1,000 more.
These new smart will originally be available with a choice of two new all-aluminum three-cylinder engines: a 999cc 71 horsepower naturally aspirated engine; and a top of the range 898cc 90 horsepower version.
The totally new turbocharger is said to feature an electronically controlled wastegate which enables increased engine dynamics in conjunction with a sustainable reduction in fuel consumption. Another distinguishing feature is the automatic start/stop system.
Smart added apart from the turbocharger, a whole range of other technical measures also contributes to the engine’s fuel efficiency and performance. These include variable swirl control and variable adjustment of the inlet valves. Another defining trait of the all-aluminum three-cylinder engine is the square bore/stroke ratio.
A third engine will be available a few months after the market launch, a basic gasoline engine good for 60 horsepower.
Smart has not mentioned if the electric powertrain currently available on the fortwo will be made available on this new generation of vehicle or if it will soldier on using the previous architecture.
The trio of gasoline engines will be available with the choice of a five-speed manual transmission or a twinamic six-speed dual clutch transmission.
Power is still sent to the rear wheels and the engine located at the rear, under the cargo area.
Smart explained in the basic version the new smart models come with mechanical rack-and-pinion steering; the Direct-Steer system with variable ratio and electric power assistance provides for considerably enhanced driving enjoyment, even better handling and increased efficiency.
Production of the fortwo will continue to be handled in the original smart plant, in Hambach, France, while the forfour will be built at the Renault production plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, where the Renault Twingo is assembled.
Fuel consumption for the fortwo with the 71 horsepower engine is 4.1 liter per 100 kilometers (57.34 mpg) on the combined cycle while it goes up by 0.1, to 4.2 liter per 100 kilometers (56 mpg) combined for the forfour powered by the same engine.