While Europe and arguably Canada have embraced the Smart experiment, the company’s fortunes in the U.S. have been painful at best.
For many would-be buyers, the current Fortwo just doesn’t make sense, even in the tightest most congested cities around – especially with relatively more space and fuel prices still low.
In contrast to the absolute minimalist ethos, and several newer traditional vehicles introduced by rivals are both less expensive and equally or more efficient.
We’ve been hearing about the newest generation of Smart vehicles for a few years now, and the information so far has been positive. The Fortwo will retain its rear-engine/rear-drive layout, as will the larger reborn Forfour, which previously shared platforms with the FWD Mitsubishi Colt.
Smart’s corporate parent Mercedes-Benz is now splitting development costs with Renault, which should mean fewer compromises when it comes to the greasy bits under the skin.
And now we finally have clear photos of the whole family, leaked just hours ahead of Smart’s official launch inadvertently by JBL, which will supply custom lightweight audio/entertainment systems for the new-gen cars.
We’ll update once there are firmer details like engines, prices and any other interesting facts become available.