Although it is currently in talks with Renault to develop an all-new Smart car, Daimler has seen fit to update the current second-generation smart fortwo — although the modifications are subtle, to say the very least.
Externally, the revised Fortwo looks virtually identical to that of the outgoing car, which debuted in 2007. The lower front fascia has been slightly refreshed to accommodate the optional LED daytime running lamps, but little else changes. A new matte green exterior color is now available, and the front fascia, side skirts, and rear fascia can now be painted body color in lieu of the standard charcoal finish. Additionally, the front grille surround and side mirrors will be painted white if a buyer opts for a similar finish for the so-called Tridion safety cell — virtually the only non-polymer portion of the Smart’s exterior.
Inside, the Fortwo is treated to a revised interior, which incorporates both a new instrument cluster and dashboard. Gauges now feature a dark background, while a pair of auxiliary gauges — a clock and a tachometer — are now standard equipment. The dashboard itself is fully trimmed in cloth, while a locking glovebox door is a new option. Customers can also enhance the mood within the microcar with optional LED interior lighting.
We’re more interested in the new audio systems found in the refreshed Fortwo. The basic stereo unit now includes both a USB and auxiliary audio input, while a new optional multimedia system incorporates a 6.5-inch display, which also incorporates navigation and Bluetooth. The multimedia system can also control an iPod, and can be paired with an optional 320-watt, eight-speaker surround-sound system.
Smart has yet to release details of revised U.S.-spec cars, but Daimler has apparently updated the Fortwo’s European engine lineup. The base 800-cc, I-3 turbo-diesel was reworked earlier this year to crank out 54 horsepower, 96 pound-feet of torque, and achieve 71 mpg on the European combined rating cycle. Euro-spec gas engines have also been retuned to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy. Both the 60- and 70-horsepower 1.0-liter I-3 engines achieve 56 mpg on the Euro combined cycle, while the 83-horsepower engine achieves 48 mpg on the same cycle.
The Brabus Fortwo returns once again, but includes new Monoblock VII aluminum wheels, an updated Brabus sport muffler, and a dressed-up interior. Daimler itself is planning its own special edition model, dubbed the Fortwo Lightshine. The special model will reportedly pair a number of premium options (including the navigation, LED running lamps) with unique 15-inch aluminum wheels, body-color headlamp surrounds, and special emblems placed on both the side mirrors and floor mats.
Smart USA won’t discuss specifics about its revised 2011 Fortwo, but expect a few of these features (but not the Lightshine model) to carry over when the car goes on sale stateside in the fall of 2010.