The revolution enters the next round – the smart fortwo has undergone improvements in virtually all areas and is markedly more comfortable.
The hallmark smart rear engine concept is being offered for the first time in the four-seater smart forfour as well. Drive power is supplied by state-of-the-art three-cylinder engines rated at 45 kW/60 hp, 52 kW/71 hp and 66 kW/90 hp, while power transmission is performed by a five-speed manual transmission or the twinamic automatic dual clutch transmission. A host of innovative details guarantee even more fun in the city. The new smart generation will be launched onto the market in Europe in November. The price for the smart fortwo will correspond to that of the current smart series, while the smart forfour will cost only around 600 euros more with the same engine.
”As Europe’s youngest car brand, smart enjoys global success today. No-one combines functionality and emotionality as well as we do, as the inventors of individual urban mobility. The new smart fortwo and forfour adopt the proven concept while offering more of just about everything – more space, more colour, more equipment … and even more fun in the city! Only the vehicle length remains as unique as ever, at 2.69 metres,” says smart boss Annette Winkler. ”Our idea based on a total rethink of urban mobility has won through.”
”In the planning phase we were clear that we wanted to retain the rear engine for the new smart, so as to continue to exploit the vehicles’ strengths to the full in the city,” explains Jörg Prigl, head of the product group Compact Cars at Mercedes-Benz. ”On this basis, we then developed the new fortwo and forfour together with our partner, Renault.”
”We are proud to have made the fortwo even safer and in sum more grown up whilst retaining its length of 2.69 metres,” adds Markus Riedel, head of development at smart. ”In doing so we even reduced the turning circle to 6.95 metres and thus set a new benchmark. The fortwo shares its architecture with the new forfour; both cars are tailor-made for the requirements of modern city traffic.”
The brand appeals to the heart and mind in equal portion. An expressive design idiom and colouring embody pure joie de vivre. The compact proportions and clever details attest to unique functionality. The new smart fortwo and the new smart forfour are clearly recognisable as members of the same family. Many design features such as the headlamps, the cooling air grille in the front and the iconic tridion safety cell are identical, for example. And both vehicles are fitted with rear engines, making them particularly agile in urban traffic.
”smart stands for FUN.ctional design, as the brand is defined by two poles – the heart and mind. The design idiom is clear and purist and therefore very progressive. The typical smart attributes are being carried into a new era: the typical silhouette with the ultra-short overhangs, the clear lines, forms and surfaces, the tridion cell and the updated, likeable smart face,” says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. ”It is never easy to design the successor to a design icon – but it is all the more exciting.”
Short overhangs, minimal length, high steering angle. The new smart models have everything it takes to manoeuvre elegantly into any parking space – and around every corner, too. When it comes to the turning circle, the new smart fortwo sets a new benchmark: at 6.95 m (from kerb to kerb) and 7.30 m (from wall to wall) it makes turning manoeuvres extremely simple. And the new smart forfour turns almost as compactly as the previous fortwo (wall to wall: 8.75 m). Its statistics are 8.65 m (kerb to kerb) and 8.95 m (wall to wall).
The essential safety concept embodied so successfully by the preceding models has been retained. Like a nut, the soft interior is protected from harm by a rigid shell: the tridion cell. A high proportion of ultra-high strength hot-formed steels and maximum-strength multiphase steel is now used on the new smart. In keeping with the Mercedes-Benz “Real Life Safety” philosophy, the focus in car-to-car crash tests was on compatibility with substantially larger and heavier vehicles. The new smart vehicles performed well in frontal collisions with the S- and C-Class.
A new front axle design adopting elements of the previous Mercedes-Benz C-Class, an optimised De Dion rear axle, substantially increased spring travel all round, tyres with higher side walls and an unprecedentedly small turning circle are the highlights of the new chassis. The chassis and suspension of the new smart generation have been evolved on the basis of the experience acquired with previous smart models and designed for markedly enhanced ride comfort.
Two state-of-the-art three-cylinder engines will be available for the new smart models at the market launch: the naturally aspirated engine generates 52 kW/71 hp from a capacity of 999 cc. The engine’s ample torque from an engine speed as low as 1000 rpm (maximum: 91 Nm at 2850 rpm) enables particularly economical driving in high gears, even in urban traffic. Top of the range is the turbo engine rated at 66 kW/90 hp. The 898 cc engine mobilises maximum torque of 135 Nm at 2500 rpm. The totally new turbocharger features 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.
Apart from the turbocharger, a whole range of other technical measures also contributes to the engine’s excellent fuel efficiency and performance. These include variable swirl control and variable adjustment of the inlet valves. Another defining trait of the all-aluminium three-cylinder engine is the square bore/stroke ratio. A few months after the market launch, a basic petrol engine rated at 45 kW/60 hp will extend the range.
Both transmission variants are also new for smart: customers can choose between a five-speed manual transmission and the twinamic six-speed dual clutch transmission.
The smart sports a friendly but self-assured face. A decisive feature of this friendly face is the signature smart grille, which is now slightly larger. The grille’s perforated structure results from a honeycomb pattern. The honeycomb is paler towards the outside – the designers refer to this as fading. The radiator trim is available in a variety of colours to match or contrast with the bodypanels, including black, cool silver and white. The second, black cooling air opening in the bumper also features the honeycomb pattern.
The markedly larger updated smart logo in the middle of the grille also demonstrates self-confidence. It is now three-dimensional and almost spherical in shape, harmonising with the smart’s distinctly more sensuous lines. The logo features a matt finish rather than a high-gloss look, similarly to all the sparingly applied chrome accents.
The rhombic front lamps are truncated slightly at the top, producing an attractive sporty look. The U-shaped daytime driving lights add a characteristic design feature. In combination with the LED & Sensor package, the headlamps incorporate a welcome function: when the car is unlocked, the light in the headlamps pulsates, as if the smart were welcoming its owner.
A loving attention to detail is demonstrated, for example, by the way in which the honeycomb pattern is cited in the headlamp covers. On the indicators, the honeycomb pattern even performs the function of dispersing the light. The bonnet also highlights the new sculptural lines, describing a powerful and sporty downward sweep between the headlamps.
The new smart forfour is clearly recognisable as a member of the new smart family, sharing many design features with the smart fortwo. Naturally enough, it is in the profile that the greatest difference is to be found between the fortwo and the forfour: the smart fortwo has a large door extending into the B-pillar with a frameless window. The typical smart genes are thus recognisable from afar on the road: the striking door contours and the unique tridion cell. A characteristic swage line, such as features in the middle of the doors, underscores the brand image. This is followed by the fuel filler cap on the right and the air inlet for the rear engine under the B-pillar on the left. As previously, the door is lined with a panel in high-quality lightweight plastic. This allows the king of the car park to shrug off any knocks and bumps from other road users.
The side view of the smart forfour reveals the same elements as the fortwo, but has a longer tridion cell as well as the additional door. The front and rear overhangs appear just as short as on the fortwo. The forfour’s roof line slopes downward towards the rear in coupé style.
A new feature on both models is the pronounced shoulderline. This provides both variants with a firm look on the road and establishes a visual separation between vehicle body and greenhouse.
The twin-section tailgate is close to smart drivers’ hearts. The new smart fortwo thus boasts this special feature once again, enabling the vehicle to be loaded even in the tightest parking spaces.
The rhombic tail lights framed by the tridion cell are reminiscent of the first smart generation and combine with the large track width to emphasize the width at the rear. A unique LED scenario is optionally available in conjunction with the LED & Sensor package: eleven individually illuminated cubes are allocated to each tail light, providing for a striking night design. The typical honeycomb pattern features once again in the clear glass over the indicators and reversing lights in the middle of the lamps.
The smart forfour essentially has the same elements as the smart fortwo. It is fitted with an upward-opening single-section tailgate, however, to enable convenient loading of the lower luggage compartment.
New, rich exterior colours and around 40 combination options between bodypanels and tridion cell boost the brand’s upbeat image. New colours now available include moon white (matt), lava orange (metallic) and hazel brown (metallic), which can be applied to contrast with new colours for the tridion cell such as cool silver (metallic) or lava orange (metallic).
FULL GALLERY: The new smart fortwo & forfour (78 Photos)
Photos: Daimler AG