Meet the 2016 Smart Fortwo
, a new pair of hatchbacks that Daimler hopes will revive the struggling Smart brand. We aren't expecting to see the Forfour here in the North American
market, although the smaller Fortwo should eventually hit our shores in the future.
Following previous teaser sketches
, it's plain to see that those drawings were fairly close to what we're seeing here. The new Smarts boast styling inspired heavily by the brand's concepts
, with a bolder, sportier aesthetic.
Both two-door and four-door boast rear-engine layouts, with power coming from a trio of three-cylinder, gas-powered engines.
The new cars, a two-door and a four-door, boast rear-engine layouts, with power coming from a trio of three-cylinder, gas-powered engines in 60-, 71- and 90-horsepower varieties. A five-speed manual will be available while a "twinamic" dual-clutch transmission will also be offered. Let's home that dual-clutch unit is an improvement over the current automated manual we've been saddled with since the car's launch several years ago.
A MacPherson strut front suspension is teamed with a De Dion rear suspension, complete with twin-tube shocks, and should imbue both Smart
models with typical small-car agility. For those seeking an even sharper Smart, an optional sport suspension will be available, which lowers the ride height ten millimeters (0.4 inches) and swaps out the standard springs for something stiffer.
Underpinning the new Fortwo and Forfour is the same rear-engine platform found underneath the Renault Twingo. Jointly developed between the French manufacturer and Daimler, the Fortwo rides on a 73.7-inch (1,872 mm) wheelbase, while the Forfour sits on a 98.1-inch (2,492 mm) wheelbase. For reference, the larger of the two Smarts is essentially equal with the Mini Hardtop
, which sits on a 98.2-inch (2,495 mm) wheelbase. Despite the similarity to the Cooper, though, the Forfour is significantly shorter, at 137.4 inches (3,490 mm) (compared to 151.1). The tiny Fortwo, meanwhile, is just 105.5 inches (2,680 mm) long.
In an effort to stave off any potential safety worries, the new model was tested in frontal collisions against both the Mercedes-Benz C-Class
, while it's safety systems were developed in the same manner as those of the C-Class. Ultra-high strength, hot-formed steel and maximum-strength, multiphase steel is used for both the sidewall and substructure, while the crumple zones are larger. As for active safety systems, Smart is the first city car manufacturer to offer up a crosswind assist system as standard, while forward collision warning and lane keeping assist are both optional extras.
Customizability will play a significant role in both models, with Smart offering up 40 different exterior color schemes, with customers able to mix and match the color of the Tridion Safety Cell and the body color. It's a similar story inside, where the car's varied textures and shapes can be had in different combinations. In general, the latest Smarts look to be more style-conscious than in the past.
There's much more available below
in an official video and lengthy press release from Smart. Scroll down and have a look, and also be sure to check out our galleries of both the 2016 Fortwo and Forfour.