It’s a new day for Daimler’s Smart brand that welcomed two new models to its range on Wednesday, the third-generation ForTwo and the second-generation ForFour, with which it hopes to expand its reach into the city car segment and boost worldwide sales.
While the latest iteration of the ultra-compact ForTwo that has been in production since 1998 follows the same recipe as its predecessors, sprinkled with a fresh design and new hardware, the new ForFour is a completely different car than the first-generation made from 2004-2006, which was a re-bodied Mitsubishi Colt sub-compact hatch.
The new ForFour is practically an elongated version of the ForTwo with five doors and seating for four, with both models closely related to the new Renault Twingo, with which they share their underpinnings, including the rear-drive, rear-mounted engine layout.
Besides having a similar playful design, the ForTwo and ForFour also share the same width (1,660mm) and height (1,550mm), but differ in wheelbase and overall length, with the two-door Smart measuring 2,690mm long with a 1,873mm wheelbase, and the four-door model, 3,490mm long with a 2,494mm wheelbase.
Additionally, the rear doors open by almost 90 degrees on the ForFour to ease passenger entry and exit, while all variants get a folding front passenger seat backrest as standard. The ForTwo has 260 liters of cargo space, while the ForFour offers 185 liters behind the rear seats and 730 liters behind the front ones.
Smart advertises a super small turning circle for both cars, at 6.95 m (from kerb to kerb) and 7.30 m (from wall to wall) for the ForTwo, and at 8.65 m (kerb to kerb) and 8.95 m (wall to wall) for the ForFour.
Two petrol engines have been announced for launch, a 1.0-liter naturally-aspirated 3-cylinder rated at 70hp (72PS) and 91Nm, and a 0.9-liter turbo’d 3-cylinder generating 89hp (90PS) and 135Nm. Later on, a 59hp (60PS) petrol engine will be added to the range, while we’ve also heard about a more powerful unit for the Brabus sports editions.
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
Buyers will be able to choose between a five-speed manual gearbox and the twinamic six-speed dual clutch transmission, both driving the rear wheels.
As a car made by the same company that builds Mercs, the Smarts come will all sorts of safety features such as Crosswind Assist (standard), forward collision warning (option) and Lane Keeping Assist (option).
The new Smarts will go on sale in Europe in November, with the ForTwo to keep the same prices as the outgoing model, and the ForFour costing around €600 (~$800) more than the equivalent ForTwo.
By John Halas