The new Smart Car is here, and it looks funkier than ever. Though we initially thought that the redesigned 2016 Smart ForTwo might adopt a more conventional hatchback look given its relation to the Renault Twingo, our first look at the redesigned minicar confirms that this is not the case.
You’ll instantly recognize the new 2016 ForTwo as a Smart. Not only does it have the same upright, dorky look as before, with short overhangs and a tall body, it maintains the quintessential color-offset rear body panel that’s meant to highlight the car’s so-called Tridion safety cell. Sure, the new car has plenty of awkward angles like the weirdly squashed-in front end, but what would a Smart ForTwo be without a bizarre design that sets it apart from all other cars on the road?
Like previous Smart cars, the 2016 Smart ForTwo has a rear-mounted engine, and buyers choose between two three-cylinder powertrains. The base engine is a 1.0-liter unit that puts out 71 hp and 67 lb-ft of torque, and the uprated choice is a 0.9-liter turbocharged three-cylinder with 90 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque. The ForTwo is available with either a six-speed dual-clutch transmission or a five-speed manual—given the lackluster performance of the previous car’s single-clutch automated manual, we’re hoping that the manual will be offered for sale in the U.S. this time around. We should also see an all-electric version sometime in the near future.
We do know for sure that the larger, four-door Smart ForFour that’s debuting alongside the ForTwo will not make its way to the U.S., as the company thought that this car would have a hard time finding a market on our shores. This may be in part due to the new 2016 Smart ForTwo’s larger interior compared with its predecessor, as the new car offers around 2 cubic feet more cargo space and more passenger space as well although it still doesn't have a rear seat like the ForFour does.
This more spacious interior can be trimmed in a variety of bright colors, and somehow manages to look even more cartoonish than the exterior. The three trim levels—Passion, Prime, and Proxy—have varying levels of equipment including keyless entry and cruise control on the base model and an upgraded sound system along with smartphone integration on the upper trim levels. There will also be a special “Edition #1” launch version of the 2016 Smart ForTwo that features a lava orange tridion safety cell in combination with a white exterior.
The 2016 Smart ForTwo will go on sale in Europe this November, with a U.S. launch to follow probably in fall 2015. Check out the photo gallery to see full photos of this new minicar along with its larger ForFour variant that won’t make it to our shores.