Daimler’s smallest brand of all, ‘Smart’ has gone through a generation leap as it brings forward the third-generation Smart ForTwo and the second-generation Smart ForFour city cars. Struggling to find takers with the outgoing models, the company is optimistic that the new generation models will boost sales globally. Launched in 1998, the Smart ForTwo ultra compact city car comprises of a small and quirky youthful design coupled with potent engine options as well as updated tech wizardry inside the cabin. The Smart ForFour on the other hand is a complete change from its predecessor, which was a Mitsubishi Colt underneath.
As the name suggests, the Smart ForTwo is a two-seater, two-door car with the rear engine sending power to the rear wheels. While the ForTwo measures 2690 mm in length with a wheelbase of 1873 mm; the four-door model measures 3490 mm in length with a wheelbase of 2494 mm. The models share the same width of 1660 mm and height of 1550 mm, and are closely related to the Renault Twingo small car with the same underpinnings.
The ForTwo car has been updated with a more young and vibrant design that gets a more bold and fresh appearance, compared to the outgoing model. The Smart ForFour is an elongated four-door version of the ForTwo small car and comes with the same design language. You get a more cheerful and rounded look with LED DRLs, a longer hood and more squared design. The new wide grille also offers a more mainstream appeal compared to the isolated look on the predecessor.
The quirky styling theme continues inside the cabin as well. The dashboard carries a two-tone design and certainly looks more premium. The dashboard is now equipped with a new 3.5-inch touchscreen system with access to a range of applications that monitor your driving style and suggest ways to improve fuel economy. You also get an optional cradle for your smartphone that attaches to the head unit, allowing you to control multimedia features like music and navigation. There are over 40 exterior colour combination options on offer.
In terms of powertrain, Daimler has announced two new petrol engines at the launch that include a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder naturally aspirated motor producing 72 PS and 91 Nm and a 0.9-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged unit producing 90 PS and 135 Nm of torque. The Smart twins will also get a 60 PS petrol engine, while a super-tuned Brabus version of both the models is also said to be in the works. A diesel engine is a possibility as well and could be added later on in the line-up.
Transmission options include a 5-speed manual as well as a Twinamic 6-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission that will be sending power to the rear wheels. Keeping up with the bigger Mercedes models, the Smart ForTwo and ForFour models will come with a host of safety tech which includes Crosswind Assist, driver side airbag, knee airbag and a front passenger side airbag available as standard, while forward collision warning and lane keep assist are optional.
The Smart twins no more look over priced and offer a lot more than just good looks. The ForTwo will go on sale in Europe from November onwards this year and the prices will be similar to the outgoing model. The ForFour though will cost a premium of around $800 (Rs. 48,000/-) than the ForTwo. The ForTwo will go on sale in the US in late 2015, while the ForFour will be given a miss owing to the lack of demand. A major overhaul, the new gen Smart models make up for one stellar value for money package. Too bad they won’t make it to India anytime in the distant future.