Fans of the ultra-tiny Smart Fortwo city car now have the option to go topless during their urban commutes. The 2017 smart fortwo Cabriolet makes its debut at next month’s Frankfurt auto show and will launch in the U.S. in summer 2016.
The Cabriolet builds off the all-new 2016 Smart Fortwo hatchback that was introduced to this country at the 2015 New York auto show in March. Its convertible roof is a powered canvas affair, which can be raised or lowered in just 12 seconds by using buttons inside the car or from the remote keyfob. While the 2017 Smart Fortwo Cabriolet at first appears to essentially only have a large fabric sunroof, it really can turn into a full-blown convertible: Once the roof has been stowed, the side roof bars that connect the A- and B-pillars can be removed and stored in the trunk for maximum wind-in-your-air enjoyment.
The fabric convertible top can be optioned in black, red, or a denim blue said to emulate the look of jeans. Its glass rear window is heated. With the roof in place, the 2017 Smart Fortwo Cabriolet has the same silhouette and overall shape as the hatchback on which the droptop is based. Smart says the car’s roof can withstand 500 automatic car-wash cycles, and that its opening mechanism has been tested at temperatures ranging from 5 to 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a result, the Cabriolet carries over its sole powertrain option from the hardtop. A rear-mounted, 0.9-liter turbocharged inline-three engine directs 89 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels by way of either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Though fuel economy ratings aren’t yet available, Smart says the Fortwo Cabriolet will manage the a top speed of 96 mph. Standard features include Bluetooth, automatic climate control, LED running lights, and hill-start assist.
Expect more information on the 2017 Smart Fortwo Cabriolet, including pricing and fuel-economy ratings, closer to its on-sale date next summer.