HEADED FOR SA: The new Smart ForTwo (left) and ForFour will arrive in SA later in 2015. Image: Smart
BOBLINGEN, Germany – Smart has shown its third-generation ForTwo and revived ForFour to be launched in Europe in time for Christmas but South Africa close to a year later.
The new models have, the automaker says, been completely redesigned inside and out and been given new engines and the latest Daimler tech.
The Smart ForTwo is only 2.6m long but 1.6m wide and 1.5m tall with a 1.8m wheelbase. The ForFour has the same width and height as the ForTwo but is 3.4m long with a wheelbase of 2.4m to accomodate four people and a 975-litre boot - if the optional reversible cushions are specified.
NEW THREE-CYLINDER ENGINES
Both versions have a choice of two three-cylinder engines; a 999cc and a turbocharged 898cc. The first generates 52kW/91Nm, the turbo 66kW/135Nm. Either can be mated to a five-speed manual or six-speed dual clutch transmission.
The engine range will be augmented in 2015 with a petrol engine rated at 45kW.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 Smart ForTwo and ForFour
In terms of safety, both are equipped with a tridion safety cell (which uses various forms of steel), crosswind assist (standard), forward collision warning (option) and lane keeping assist (option).
The new cars’ front axle design incorporates elements from the previous Mercedes-Benz C-Class and an optimised De Dion rear axle.
PASSION, PRIME AND PROXY TRIM
The cars will be available in three specifications - Passion, Prime and Proxy - and loaded with LED lights, central locking with remote control, immobiliser, cruise control with limiter (variable speed limitation), touchscreen, satnav, electronic stability control (with crosswind stabilisation) and power windows (front only for ForFour).
Depending on spec, they'll have leather multifunction steering-wheel, an instrument cluster with 8.9cm colour display and heatable seats. A limited version, the edition #1, will be launched, sporting a special orange/white paint job for the ForTwo and grey for the FourFour.
The multimedia systems, Smart says, meet the highest standards, with comprehensive smartphone integration, drivers can access the Smart cross-connect via a free app iOS and Android). A cradle has been developed for various smartphones.
Smart designers refer to the evolutionary development of the silhouette as the "one-and-a-half box" design. The higher bonnet lends the smart a more grown-up and sportier character. There's a honeycomb grille, new Smart logo and new headlights. The radiator trim is available in colours to match or contrast with the body panels - black, silver and white.
The new ForFour is identifiable by a large door extending into the B-pillar with a frameless window. According to Smart: “As previously, the door is lined with a panel in high-quality lightweight plastic. This allows the king of the car park to shrug off knocks and bumps from other road users.”
A new feature on both models is the pronounced shoulder line.
At the rear, both cars sport rhombic tail lights, reminiscent of the first-generation ForTwo, LEDs and honeycomb elements.
GET INSIDE THE LOOP
"Loop" is the designers' name for the sweep that features inside, embellishing the facia and doors. The facia and the door panels have fabric trim.
The instrument cluster and its semi-circular segmentation for the speed and warning indicators is based on previous Smart cars, though redesigned. It has spherical air vents and the aircon has an unusual appearance: the desired temperature can be set with the aid of a sliding magnifying glass.
The three-spoked steering-wheel is optionally available as a multifunction variant.