Report: Renault-Based Smart Fortwo To Debut In Paris

For a preview of the next-generation Smart Fortwo and Forfour, take a look at the Renault Twingo (pictured) that debuted at the Geneva auto show. According to Automotive News Europe, the two cars will have about 70 percent of their parts in common.

Renault-Nissan and Smart parent company Daimler agreed in 2010 to co-develop European subcompact cars, which would become the Renault Twingo and Smart Fortwo/Forfour by 2014. It is hardly surprising, then, that the two cars will have so many common parts, especially in terms of mechanical components. Indeed, the forthcoming Smart models will follow the new Renault Twingo in offering a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout that maximizes cabin space.

Where the two cars will diverge is in nearly every other way. For one, ANE reports that the new Smart Fortwo will be significantly shorter than the Renault Twingo. It will only be offered as a two-seater, as is the current model, whereas no Twingo will be offered with just two seats. The Fortwo will also have a "traditional Smart B-pillar" design, as seen on the current car. Smart also will launch an all-electric Fortwo (an update of today's Fortwo Electric Drive), whereas Renault will not have a Twingo EV. Smart will, however, use the 70-hp and 90-hp three-cylinder gas engines from the Twingo.

The Fortwo will spawn a longer, four-seater Smart Forfour in due time. However, the Forfour won't be sold in the U.S. because Smart doesn't expect strong sales for that version. The new Smart Fortwo is expected to keep its current 106-inch length, and the Forfour will measure about 138 inches long. The Renault Twingo, meanwhile, is 141 inches long. Both the Smart Fortwo and Forfour will reportedly debut this fall at the Paris auto show. ANE reports that the new Fortwo will go on sale in the U.S. by August 2015.

Our spy photos revealed that the next Smart Fortwo will have styling extremely similar to the current car, with a fat B-pillar, wheels pushed to the far corners of the body, and a large rear liftgate. The windshield slopes directly into the stubby nose, and the swept-back headlights are mounted high on the body.

Look for more information on the new Smart Fortwo to trickle out in the months leading up to the Paris auto show.

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