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.