Daimler will be hoping that third time is the charm with the new third-generation 2016 Smart Fortwo and its four-seat counterpart.

The all-new models have now been revealed in all their glory at the launch event in Berlin, and while several facets of the brand's values remain, a whole lot has changed too.

For now, only the two-seat Fortwo has been confirmed for U.S. sales, but it should still represent a significant improvement over the model it replaces.

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Styling, though, will still be an acquired taste.

There's only so much you can do with a two-seat, truncated minicar--but Smart has applied several cues introduced on concept vehicles over the last few years to form the new model's shape.

Most noticeable is the new two-box silhouette, giving the car more of a defined hood. This isn't to accommodate a new engine--that still resides in the back, under the rear luggage deck--but instead ensures the model can pass European pedestrian impact legislation.

It also lends the Fortwo a slightly more conventional look, though classic Smart cues such as the two-tone body, visible 'Tridion' safety cell and wheel-at-each-corner stance remain. Despite appearances, length is actually identical to the previous car.

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The interior is a huge departure from the outgoing Smart, though.

It's now more conventional in layout, necessitated by Smart's collaboration with Renault for its Twingo city car. It's also necessitated by one of the new Smart's biggest departures over the outgoing model--a proper manual transmission.

Rather than the tiny automated manual selector of old between the front seats, the new Fortwo's manual shift lever sits proud at the base of the center console, where it might in a regular vehicle.

The rest of the interior now looks more substantial but still retains Smart quirks, such as a fabric-covered dashboard and bright color schemes.

Both vehicles retain Smart's traditional rear-engined, rear-drive layout. Engine choices include a naturally-aspirated 1.0-liter producing either 59 or 70 horsepower, and an 89-horse turbocharged unit. An electric model is also expected at some stage.

It isn't yet clear which of these will hit U.S. shores, nor has Smart released any solid economy details. Those will arrive before the car hits the U.S, in late summer or early fall 2015.


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