Our first preview of the next-generation Smart Fortwo and Forfour came at this year’s Geneva auto show, when the closely related Renault Twingo debuted for the first time. Now, according to a recent teaser video of the Smart microcars testing in Sweden, we know that the smart fortwo and Forfour are nearly ready for production.
The video details final winter testing phases for Smart’s new vehicles. Chief engineer Markus Riedel explains the three phases of this process, which include a low-temperature body check, dynamic driving validation, and snow intrusion testing. He concludes that the Smart Fortwo and stretched Smart Forfour are “ready to launch and…fun to drive.”
Smart co-developed the subcompact-car project with Renault, meaning Smart’s cars share about 70 percent of their parts with the Renault Twingo. Smart’s cars match the Twingo’s rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive setup in order to optimize interior dimensions, while also sharing Renault’s 70-hp and 90-hp three-cylinder engines. Unlike the Twingo, the Smart Fortwo will be available with an all-electric drivetrain when it goes on sale in the U.S. around August 2015. Smart will not sell the Forfour in the U.S.
“It’s a huge step forward in comfort and ride and handling behavior,” said Riedel. “The cars are getting greater by staying a real Smart.”
In this respect we can expect the new Smart Fortwo to keep much of the outgoing model’s styling, as we’ve seen in spy shots of the future model. The microcar will likely remain 106 inches long, keeping the bulbous B-pillar, short overhangs, and big rear hatch. The Smart Fortwo will likely debut at the 2014 Paris auto show in September.