Smart new move to boost Merc minis

2014-07-18 13:22

BOBLINGEN, Germany - The Smart ForTwo has undergone improvements in virtually all areas and been made a lot more comfortable, says the automaker.

And the hallmark Smart rear-engined concept is being offered for the first time in the four-seater Smart ForFour as well.

The automaker says drive power is supplied by three-cylinder engines rated at 45kW, 52kW and 66kW, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox or the twin automatic dual clutch transmission.

IMAGE GALLERY: Smart ForTwo and ForFour

The new Smart generation will be launched in Europe in November 2014. The price for the Smart ForTwo with the 52kW engine will be under the equivalent price of R160 000, while the ForFour will cost only around R8600 more with the same engine.

Smart boss Annette Winkler said: "The new Smart ForTwo and ForFour adopt the proven concept while offering more of just about everything – more space, more colour, more equipment … and even more fun in the city! Only the vehicle length remains as unique as ever, at 2.69m.

"Our idea based on a total rethink of urban mobility has won through."


Jorg Prigl, head of the product group Compact Cars at Mercedes-Benz, said: "In the planning phase we were clear that we wanted to retain the rear engine for the new Smart, so as to continue to exploit the vehicles' strengths to the full in the city. On this basis, we then developed the new ForTwo and ForFour together with our partner, Renault."

“Many design features such as the headlights, the cooling air grille in the front and the iconic Tridion safety cell are identical, for example. And both vehicles are fitted with rear-engines, making them particularly agile in urban traffic.

The cars have short overhangs, minimal length and high steering angles. The ForTwo has a turning circle of 6.95m.

Additional highlights include the rear doors opening by almost 90° on the Smart ForFour and the folding front passenger seat backrest which comes as standard for all variants.

The automaker says advanced assistance systems include crosswind assist, optional forward collision warning and lane-keeping assistance.


Two three-cylinder engines will be available for the new Smart models: the non-turbo engine generates 52kW from a one-litre unit and 66kW from the second. The 898cc engine mobilises maximum torque of 135Nm from 2500rpm.

Smart said: "The new turbocharger features an electronically controlled wastegate which enables increased engine dynamics in conjunction with a sustainable reduction in fuel consumption. Another distinguishing feature is the automatic stop/start system."

A basic petrol engine with 45kW will be added to the range a few months after launch.

The cars will be available with three equipment lines called Passion, Prime and Proxy. Features include a leather multifunction steering wheel, an instrument cluster with 9cm colour display and heated seats.

A new feature on both models, says Mercedes, is the pronounced shoulderline. “This provides both variants with a firm look on the road and establishes a visual separation between vehicle body and greenhouse. The twin-section tailgate is close to smart drivers' hearts. The new Smart ForTwo boasts this special feature once again, enabling the vehicle to be loaded even in the tightest parking spaces.”


The Smart ForFour essentially has the same elements as the ForTwo, fitted with an upward-opening single-section tailgate to enable convenient loading of the lower luggage compartment.

There are also new body colours and around 40 combination options. These include white (matt), orange (metallic) and brown (metallic), which can be applied to contrast with new colours for the Tridion cell such as silver (metallic) or orange (metallic).

The IsoFix fastening system with top tether attachment features standard on the passenger seat of the fortwo and the rear seats of the ForFour, providing a simple means of attaching child seats rigidly to the vehicle.

All Smart models come with driver's body and knee airbags and front passenger airbag.

• Mercedes-Benz SA says the two models will arrive at the end of 2015.