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2014 Smart ForTwo: More Details, Renault Version Nixed

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Smart's tiny Fortwo city car is being replaced in early 2014, and more details are emerging on the next generation small car.

Changes include new engines, new transmissions and a size increase--but partner Renault will no longer be producing its own two-seat equivalent.

CAR Magazine reports that French carmaker Renault has abandoned plans to produce its own version of the Fortwo, though it isn't clear whether the two companies are still collaborating on the next-generation Smart ForFour and Renault Twingo subcompacts.

Despite this, the 2014 Fortwo will still use Renault-developed powertrains. Sources suggest the entry-level engine will be a 900cc, three-cylinder unit with a naturally-aspirated 65 horsepower. Turbocharged variants will offer further outputs of 85 and 105 hp.

For the first time, the Fortwo will be offered with a six-speed manual transmission, rather than the jerky five-speed automated manual. If an automatic is essential, a seven-speed twin-clutch unit will be available--but initial estimates put the price at an eye-watering 2,000 Euros, or $2,600.

Auto Express reveals an 87-hp all-electric model and a cabriolet version are also on the cards, as is an extended range of Smart vehicles, including the four-seat Forfour model, and a crossover model which could use parts from the next-generation Nissan Juke. The crossover isn't due until late 2015.

A string of recent concept vehicles has slowly hinted at the car's design, and it's expected to crib heavily from the Forvision (shown above), Forstars and For-US concepts shown at shows during 2011 and 2012.

That means distinctive head and tail-lights, a perforated front grille and a more distinct hood than the sharply-sloped front of the current car. Smart's signature 'Tridion' safety cell will continue to define the car's diminutive shape.

Length is said to have increased by just over an inch, but width has grown further--from just under 69 inches, to 73.6 inches. This could improve directional stability, and may encourage Smart to tune the car for a softer ride quality...

Inside, a brand new interior design is expected to feature a removable, tablet-style display. Interior styling is expected to be as funky as ever.

With better transmission options and a wider cabin, the next Fortwo could be a car to geniunely look forward to when it arrives in early 2014.

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Comments (6)
  1. Wonder if this will change SMART's fortunes in the USA. Seems like the car offers too little (only two seats) and too many compromises (poor ride quality, jerky transmission, poor highway stability).

    Stills, as a city car, it is kind of interesting looking, though the Fiat 500 seems like a fresher alternative. Also, the SMARTs 36 mpg combined for $12,000 is inexpensive transportation. But perhaps that is the problem, who wants to look like they couldn't afford a "real" car.
     
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  2. @John Briggs...who wants to look like they couldn't afford a "real" car
    John that's your problem not mine since I have owned "real" cars and find the Smart part of that scene as well in general use. I notice when this sort of comment comes up the instigator never has any experience of the product i.e. armchair critic. The Smart was a real accomplishment in design for reducing one's motoring footprint,the next closest being a motorcycle. Smarts biggest challenge is convincing the public they need to move in this direction for at least some of their trips. I found it a handy tool but have switched to the IQ for the extra width and ability to carry a third person which I add in over a year hasn't been tested as yet.
     
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  3. Dumb names. When is the Forskin coming out?
     
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  4. I hope they sell the Smart Electric Drive everywhere. And I hope this gets Toyota to sell the iQ EV, as well. The Smart with a good 6-speed can surely get >50MPG?

    Neil
     
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  5. Hi Neil,
    I'm with ya on the ED Smart hopefully being sold everywhere. Likely it will just be the green states the first year though. Toyota is doing only what they have to w/ the IQ EV n it shows. Its not a good EV n won't don't well....which is too bad.

    The lack of big aerodynamic improvement possibilities mean that a ice microcar won't get above 50mpg this decade....too much wind resistance at high speeds. However, with the improvements listed above for the ice smart...> 40 combined is realistic.
     
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  6. I fail to understand why everyone is so down on the "jerky transmission". First off its not jerky only slow on the change in auto position which is no different than some drivers use of a manual box. In the manual position its a joy to use and oddly enough in the Smart roadster was never complained about! I have owned an early, a late version and now a sports roadster and would hate to see a conventional shift used in a new version of the Smart, wouldn't buy one!
     
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