The revolution enters the next round - the all-new smart fortwo has undergone improvements in virtually all areas and is markedly more comfortable. Drive power is supplied by a state-of-the-art three-cylinder engine rated at 89 hp, while power transmission is performed by a five-speed manual transmission or the twinamic automatic dual clutch transmission. A host of innovative details guarantee even more fun in the city. The new smart generation was launched in Europe in November 2014 and is making its U.S. debut at the 2015 New York International Auto Show before arriving in dealerships in September. "As Europe's youngest car brand, smart enjoys global success today. No-one combines functionality and emotionality as well as we do, as the inventors of individual urban mobility. The new smart fortwo adopts the proven concept while offering more of just about everything - more space, more color, more equipment … and even more fun in the city! Only the vehicle length remains as unique as ever, at 2.69 meters (8.8 feet)," says smart boss Annette Winkler. "Our idea based on a total rethink of urban mobility has won through."
"In the planning phase we were clear that we wanted to retain the rear engine for the new smart, so as to continue to exploit the vehicles' strengths to the full in the city," explains Jörg Prigl, head of the product group Compact Cars at Mercedes-Benz. "On this basis, we then developed the new fortwo and forfour together with our partner, Renault."
"We are proud that we have been able to make the fortwo with the same length of 2.69 meters (8.8 feet) even safer and altogether more grown up," Markus Riedel, Head of Development at smart, adds. "We even succeeded in reducing the turning circle to 6.95 meters (22.8 feet), setting a new best."
The data of the new smart model at market launch at a glance:
Number of cylinders/arrangement 3/R
Engine capacity (cc) 898
Rated output (hp) 89
at rpm 6200
Rated torque (lb-ft) 100
at rpm 2500
Fuel economy tbd
0-60 (s) tbd
Maximum speed (mph) 96
Figures for vehicles with manual transmission, but a double-clutch auto transmission will also be offered in the U.S.
Unmistakeably smart - the design
The brand appeals to the heart and mind in equal portion. An expressive design idiom and coloring embody pure joie de vivre. The compact proportions and clever details attest to unique functionality. The new smart fortwo is instantly recognizable as a member of the smart family with many distinctive design features including the trademark smart headlamps and front grille and the iconic tridion safety cell. In addition, its intelligent rear engine setup helps ensure the smart fortwo is particularly agile in urban traffic.
"smart stands for FUN.ctional design, as the brand is defined by two poles - the heart and mind. The design idiom is clear and purist and therefore very progressive. The typical smart attributes are being carried into a new era: the typical silhouette with the ultra-short overhangs, the clear lines, forms and surfaces, the tridion cell and the updated, likeable smart face," says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "It is never easy to design the successor to a design icon - but it is all the more exciting."
Extreme agility and optimum use of space - more fun in the city
Short overhangs, minimal length, and high steering angle: The new smart fortwo has everything it takes to manoeuvre elegantly into any parking space - and around every corner, too. When it comes to the turning circle, the new smart fortwo sets a new benchmark: at 22.8 ft (from curb to curb) and 24 ft (from wall to wall) it makes turning manoeuvres extremely simple.
This new model also leads the way once again with regard to the maximum of space packed into minimal dimensions, as documented by the excellent body space index. Additional highlights include the folding front passenger seat backrest for maximum versatility.
Real Life Safety - safety features
The essential safety concept embodied so successfully by the preceding models has been retained. Like a nut, the soft interior is protected from harm by a rigid shell: the tridion cell. A high proportion of ultra-high strength hot-formed steels and maximum-strength multiphase steel is now used on the new smart. In keeping with the Mercedes-Benz "Real Life Safety" philosophy, the focus in car-to-car crash tests was on compatibility with substantially larger and heavier vehicles. The new smart vehicles performed well in frontal collisions with the S- and C-Class.
Advanced assistance systems which were previously reserved for higher classes of vehicle further enhance safety and comfort. These include Crosswind Assist (standard) and forward collision warning (optional).
A new front axle design adopting elements of the previous Mercedes-Benz C‑Class, an optimized De Dion rear axle, substantially increased spring travel all round, tires with higher side walls and an unprecedentedly small turning circle are the highlights of the new chassis. The chassis and suspension of the new smart generation have been evolved on the basis of the experience acquired with previous smart models and designed for markedly enhanced ride comfort.
New three-cylinder engine, dual clutch transmission - the drive system
A state-of-the-art turbocharged three-cylinder engine will be standard on the new smart fortwo at the market launch: The turbo engine is rated at 89 hp. The 898 cc engine mobilizes maximum torque of 100 lb-ft at 2500 rpm. The totally new turbocharger features an electronically controlled wastegate which enables increased engine dynamics in conjunction with a sustainable reduction in fuel consumption.
Apart from the turbocharger, a whole range of other technical measures also contributes to the engine's excellent fuel efficiency and performance. These include variable swirl control and variable adjustment of the inlet valves. Another defining trait of the all-aluminium three-cylinder engine is the square bore/stroke ratio.
Both transmission variants are also new for smart: customers can choose between a five-speed manual transmission and the twinamic six-speed dual clutch transmission.
passion, prime and proxy - the new lines
Three equipment lines (passion, prime and proxy) and a wealth of optional items, some of which were previously the reserve of higher segments, make every smart fortwo a unique gem in its own right. Even in the entry-level pure version, a comprehensive scope of safety and comfort features are offered. These include LED daytime driving lights, central locking with radio remote control, cruise control, multifunction steering wheel, smart radio with CD-Player, Bluetooth (handsfree/audio streaming), power steering, exterior temperature indicator with frost warning, instrument cluster with 3.5 in color display and trip computer, and power windows.
passion, prime and proxy are the names of the three lines which serve to upgrade the "pure" smart fortwo and provide for differentiation particularly in the interior. Their features include a leather multifunction steering wheel, power and heated mirrors, height adjustable driver seat, armrest, and retractable cargo cover.
In addition, to tie in with the market launch of the new smart generation, the edition #1 package will be available for model year 2016. This offers exclusive design features such as a tridion safety cell in lava orange combined with bodypanels/body in white. The multimedia systems meet the highest standards, with comprehensive smartphone integration, real-time navigation and intuitive operation with touchscreen. For the first time, smart is offering the JBL sound system, which produces an impressively full sound. It incorporates a 6-channel DSP amplifier (240 W) in the fortwo, with a total of eight high-performance loudspeakers providing outstanding listening pleasure.
smart cross connect is a revolutionary new app which is available to customers free of charge from smart for the smart fortwo. smart cross connect offers even more features while on the move and outside of the vehicle. smart parking is among the features which now offer a more user-friendly design and incorporate new functions.
FUN.ctional - the exterior design
Extremely short overhangs at front and rear - the new smart generation also possesses these typical proportions. And thanks to the 100 mm (3.9 inches) wider track, the wheels are positioned further outwards. These characteristic proportions offer outstanding visibility and agility and, together with the rear engine, enable a passenger cell accommodating an unrivalled amount of space in such compact dimensions. The color contrast between tridion cell and body panels is another characteristic feature of the smart brand.
The smart designers refer to the evolutionary development of the silhouette as the "one-and-a-half box" design. A change to the previous one-box proportions became necessary for two reasons: the higher hood lends the smart a more grown-up and sportier character and offers greater pedestrian protection.
The smart fortwo features a friendly but self-assured face. A decisive feature of this friendly face is the signature smart grille, which is now slightly larger. The grill's perforated structure results from a honeycomb pattern. The honeycomb is paler towards the outside - the designers refer to this as fading. The radiator trim is available in a variety of colors to match the tridion, including black, cool silver and white. The second, black cooling air opening in the bumper also features the honeycomb pattern.
The markedly larger updated smart logo in the middle of the grille also demonstrates self-confidence. It is now three-dimensional and almost spherical in shape, harmonizing with the smart's distinctly more sensuous lines. The logo features a matte finish rather than a high-gloss look, similarly to all the sparingly applied chrome accents.
The rhombic front lamps are truncated slightly at the top, producing an attractive sporty look. The U-shaped daytime driving lights (optional Lighting Package) add a characteristic design feature.
A loving attention to detail is demonstrated, for example, by the way in which the honeycomb pattern is cited in the headlamp covers. On the indicators, the honeycomb pattern even performs the function of dispersing the light. The hood also highlights the new sculptural lines, describing a powerful and sporty downward sweep between the headlamps.
The new smart fortwo is clearly recognizable as a member of the new smart family. It has a large door extending into the B-pillar with a frameless window. The typical smart genes are thus apparent from afar on the road: the striking door contours and the unique tridion cell. A characteristic swage line, such as features in the middle of the doors, underscores the brand image. This is followed by the fuel filler cap on the right and the air inlet for the rear engine under the B‑pillar on the left. As previously, the door is lined with a panel in high-quality lightweight plastic. This allows the king of the car park to shrug off any knocks and bumps from other road users.
A new feature on the smart fortwo is the pronounced shoulder line. This provides a firm look on the road and establishes a visual separation between the vehicle body and greenhouse.
The twin-section tailgate is close to smart drivers' hearts. The new smart fortwo thus boasts this special feature once again, enabling the vehicle to be loaded even in the tightest parking spaces.
The rhombic tail lights framed by the tridion cell are reminiscent of the first smart generation and combine with the large track width to emphasize the width at the rear. A unique LED scenario is optionally available in conjunction with the Lighting package: eleven individually illuminated cubes are allocated to each tail light, providing for a striking night design. The typical honeycomb pattern features once again in the clear glass over the indicators and reversing lights in the middle of the lamps.
New, rich exterior colors and around 40 combination options between bodypanels and tridion cell boost the brand's upbeat image. New colors now available include moon white (matte), lava orange (metallic) and hazel brown (metallic), which can be applied to contrast with new colors for the tridion cell such as cool silver (metallic) or lava orange (metallic/Edition #1 only).
Easy-going and charming - the interior design
"Loop" is the designers' name for the emotional sweep that features as a theme in the interior, embellishing the dashboard and doors. The sculptural dashboard itself consists of two sections - a bold and sensuous outer section which can optionally be covered with fabric, and a large, concave inner section incorporating the functional elements. In front of the dashboard, the instrument cluster and the infotainment center with radio/navigation appear to hover in front of the dashboard.
The dashboard and the door center panels feature extensive fabric coverings in the three lines. This high-quality textile surface is very pleasant to the touch and is reminiscent of the mesh inserts in modern sports shoes. The mesh structure is a USP in this vehicle segment.
The color and material concept underscores the easy-going and charming character of the new smart generation, with the equipment lines standing for a distinctive and individual appearance. The sporty front seats with bold contours are designed as integral seats.
The instrument cluster and its semi-circular segmentation for speed and warning indicators cites the previous smart models, but in a new look. The striking spherical air vents are simple and fun to use. The centrally positioned air conditioning control unit also features an distinctive appearance: the desired temperature can be set on a scale in the middle with the aid of a sliding magnifying glass.
The three-spoke multifunction steering wheel can be used to control the radio or navigation unit positioned in the center of the dashboard. The infotainment center in modern consumer electronics style appears to hover in front of the dashboard. The interior thus reflects the values of a young, active and networked generation.
The doors take up the "loop" of the dashboard with their ellipsoidal sweep. The large armrest provides for comfort. The honeycomb pattern from the exterior is cited on the integrated loudspeaker and the tweeter in the mirror triangle.
Smallest turning circle of any car - the concept
Short overhangs, minimal length, high steering angle. The new smart fortwo has everything it takes to manoeuvre elegantly into any parking space - and around every corner, too. When it comes to the turning circle, the new smart fortwo sets a new benchmark: at 22.8 ft (from curb to curb) and 24 ft (from wall to wall) it makes turning manoeuvres extremely simple. The smart fortwo makes exceptional use of the available space. The smart engineers have developed the body space index (BSI) to describe how efficiently space is used. It describes the ratio of interior to exterior length, whereby the interior length is measured from the accelerator pedal in unused position along a horizontal line to the rear end, as a simple means of comparison between different vehicles. At 75%, the new smart fortwo attains top ratings for this criterion.
The key dimensions of the two new smart models:
Length (in) 106.1
Width (in) 65.47
Height (in) 61.22
Wheelbase (in) 73.74
Turning circle (curb-to-curb) (in) 273.62
Turning circle (wall-to-wall) (in) 287.40
Interior length (accelerator pedal to rear end) (in) 78.85
Body space index (ratio of length to interior length) (%) 75
Luggage compartment capacity (behind front seats) (sq ft) tbd
Luggage compartment capacity (behind front seats to roof) (sq ft) tbd
Markedly more comfortable - the chassis
The new smart fortwo has essentially been configured for gently understeering handling characteristics. The different tire sizes at front and rear have thus been retained, whereby the narrower front tires in conjunction with a high outside wheel turn angle contribute to the unprecedentedly small turning circle. ABS, ASR and ESP(R) are ready to intervene at the critical limits of road-holding. A hill hold function and brake assist are integrated in the brake system.
The engineers have designed a new McPherson suspension with a triple-path head bearing for the front axle. Each wheel is controlled by a wishbone under the wheel center, the McPherson strut and a tie rod. Comfort and guide bearings for the wishbones provide for added comfort, along with the markedly increased overall spring travel. During the compression phase in particular, the new smart runs markedly more smoothly over uneven surfaces than previously.
The new smart fortwo also features a sophisticated De-Dion rear axle, which has been modified for substantially greater comfort. New elements are the twin-tube shock absorbers and separate barrel-shaped helical springs. Two elastomer shims provide for effective noise decoupling of the helical springs between body and rear axle.
The sports suspension is available as part of the optional Sport Package to those seeking sportier handling from their smart. The springs are firmer here and the vehicle is ten millimeters lower.
The standard Direct-Steer system with variable ratio and electric power assistance provides for considerably enhanced driving enjoyment, even better handling and increased efficiency.
Crosswind Assist as standard - active safety
Advanced assistance systems which were previously the reserve of higher classes of vehicle further enhance safety and comfort. These include crosswind assist (standard) and forward collision warning (optional).
Every car driver will be familiar with risky situations when surprised by strong gusts of wind while overtaking trucks or on bridges. Standard-fit crosswind assist is able to defuse such dangerous situations by carrying out specific braking intervention when the vehicle threatens to drift off track. As a result, less countersteering effort is required of the driver. Crosswind assist is active from 50 mph when driving straight ahead and in gentle bends. The ESP(R) indicator lights up in the instrument cluster in response to noticeable intervention by crosswind assist.
A brief lapse in concentration is all it takes for the driver to edge too close to the vehicle ahead - this is one of the main causes of serious traffic accidents. The forward collision warning (optional) helps to defuse such dangerous situations. For example, it can prevent rear-end collisions when the driver approaches the end of a traffic jam. The system can also prompt the driver to take action in dangerous traffic situations in the city, thereby helping to avoid accidents. The distance to the vehicle ahead and the closing speed are monitored continuously by mid-range radar.
The driver is warned in two stages: when a vehicle ahead is detected, a warning lamp lights up in the instrument cluster if the distance is not within the safe range (stage 1). If the closeness to the vehicle ahead becomes critical, giving rise to a danger of collision, a warning tone additionally sounds (stage 2). The driver is thus urged to take action in the form of emergency braking or a specific evasive maneuver to avoid a rear-end collision. The combined visual and audible warning is initiated in case of moving or stationary vehicles in the speed range from 5mph to top speed. Stationary vehicles are detected when the driver is travelling at a speed from 5 to 56mph.
Comprehensive occupant protection - passive safety
The bodyshell of the new smart fortwo and the tridion safety cell have undergone further development to adapt them to even more stringent safety requirements. A high proportion of ultra-high strength hot-formed steels and maximum-strength multiphase steel is now used. These are used in the sidewall and in particular in the substructure.
In order to assure the structures of a high level of deformation and energy absorption capacity in frontal collisions, the new smart generation has been provided with the largest possible crumple zones and attention has been devoted to ensuring an effective flow of the accruing forces.
In a severe frontal collision, the rear structure also helps to absorb the energy acting on the vehicle. The forces are channelled into the extremely robust passenger cell, which is designed as a safety cage. Particularly extensive work went into adapting the new front axle carrier to crash requirements.
The highly robust tridion passenger cell is able to prevent major deformation even in very severe collisions, thus helping to protect the occupants' space. The fuel tank is located safely outside the deformation zone in front of the rear axle.
The Mercedes-Benz safety engineers were involved in the cooperation project with Renault throughout all phases of the development process and were able to contribute their amassed know-how. For example, this was particulairly helpful in the area of computer simulation, where it was possible to calculate in detail the behaviour of individual weld spots or the newly introduced bonding methods, such as MIG soldering.
The number of assessed collision cases far exceeded the mandatory scope, both in the simulations and in real crash testing. The new smart fortwo underwent the same development program as the new Mercedes-Benz C Class, for example. As it was designed for the global market, the number of crash tests was four times that required for vehicles designed primarily for the European market.
In keeping with the Mercedes-Benz "Real Life Safety" philosophy, the focus in car-to-car tests was on compatibility with substantially larger and heavier vehicles. The new smart fortwo was required to demonstrate its capabilities in frontal collisions with the S- and C-Class.
The way in which all components (body, seat belts, airbags and sensor system) interact is crucial to effective protection. The forward displacement space for the occupants is to be sufficient to provide them with an adequate deceleration distance to minimize accident-induced physical stress in the event of a collision.
Driver and front passenger are each provided with a 3-point seat belt with belt force limiter and pyrotechnic belt tensioner as standard. The TopTether attachment is standard on the passenger seat of the fortwo, providing a simple means of attaching child seats rigidly to the vehicle. The child seats themselves come from the Mercedes-Benz range.
The headrests for driver and front passenger are integrated in the backrests. They reduce the risk of injuries to the cervical vertebrae in a rear-end collision.
The smart fortwo comes with 8 airbags as standard. The kneebag has a positive influence on occupant kinematics in a frontal collision, thus offering the driver additional protection in many frontal collision scenarios.
The standard-fit sidebags (head-thorax bags) are accommodated in the driver and front passenger seat backrests and provide side cover for the respective occupants' head and chest. The sidebags incorporate two chambers to enable due adaptation to different sizes of head / upper body. When inflated in side-on collisions they are able to lower the degree of stress to which the chest area is exposed and reduce the risk of the head colliding directly with the side window or other objects likely to cause injuries, such as a pylon, a tree or parts of a colliding vehicle. The occupants' pelvic areas are additionally protected by deformation elements installed at appropriate points in the door panels.
Three equipment lines: passion, prime and proxy
passion, prime and proxy are the names of the three lines which upgrade the smart fortwo "pure" and provide for visual differentiation. The most important features at a glance:
The passion line is very stylish and modern with a choice of color combinations in black/orange, black/white, or black/grey for the interior. The multifunction steering wheel in leather, power and heated mirrors, and a retractable cargo cover combine a high-quality ambience with functionality.
Features such as black leather seats with grey topstitching, a multifunction steering wheel and shift lever knob in leather give
the interior of the prime line an elegant and classic look. Standard equipment features include fog lamps, heated seats for driver and passenger, exterior LED lighting, ambient lighting, rain and light sensor, and panorama roof.
The proxy line defines itself as an innovative trendsetter. Highlights are the seats in leather look and white/blue fabric. The Sports package with 16-inch alloy wheels is perfect for dynamic motoring, and the JBL sound system provides an impressive audio experience.
Limited edition: the edition #1 package
In addition, to tie in with the market launch of the new smart generation, the edition #1 will be available for the 2016 model year only. It offers exclusive design features such as a tridion safety cell in lava orange combined with bodypanels/body in white. Further features include painted black 16-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension lowering the vehicle by 10 mm, a panoramic roof with sun protection, LED lighting package, and fog lamps.
The interior is perfectly coordinated with the exclusive exterior design: seats with upholstery in black/orange fabric, dashboard and door center panel in orange fabric and accent trim parts in black/grey, leather multifunction sports steering wheel in a 3-spoke design, shift lever knob in leather, sports pedals in brushed stainless steel with rubber studs, velour floor mats with edition #1 lettering and stowage compartment in the tailgate.
Practical equipment combinations: the packages
smart has combined various features in two practical packages:
Building on the lines, the Sport package underscores the car's dynamism on both a technical and visual level. Lowering the vehicle by 10 millimeters lowers the center of gravity for even better roadholding. The Sport package is a standard feature of the proxy line (without the sport wheels) and is available as an option for passion and prime.
The Lighting package comprises headlamps with daytime driving lights featuring LED fiber optic technology and LED tail lamps. It comes standard in conjunction with prime and proxy.
Further upgrade options: optional equipment
In addition to the equipment lines and the packages, numerous individual optional equipment features are available for the new smart generation. A highlight is the JBL Soundsystem, which produces an impressively full sound. The JBL Soundsystem incorporates a 6-channel DSP amplifier (240 watt) and a total of eight high-performance loudspeakers provide for outstanding listening pleasure: one broadband center loudspeaker, two tweeters in the mirror triangle, two lower mid-range speakers in the doors (on the forfour additionally in the rear doors), two broadband rear-fill loudspeakers and a removable woofer on the left-hand side of the luggage compartment.
Options such as heated seats for driver and passenger, smart Media-System providing a 7-inch multi-touch display which supports swiping gestures and navigation including traffic information, and a rear parking aid with acoustic warning offer further scope for individualization.
Production - Hambach plant remains a role model
Highly efficient assembly and logistics operations and suppliers based directly on site at the plant as system partners: since it was opened in October 1997 the smart plant in Hambach, Lorraine, has stood for the success story of an innovative, particularly lean production concept which continues to set new standards in its area of the automobile industry. With investments in the order of 200 million euros for production of the new generation of the two-seater, the plant has brought its original production concept into line with the state of the art while further increasing the flexibility of production operations. The innovative, lean production concept at 'smartville' is based on smart assuming overarching control of the plant and responsibility for the end product, while at the same time drawing on the expertise of specialized suppliers and service companies for numerous areas of production.
The success story - an idea wins through
1998 saw the launch of an excitingly different car - the smart city coupe, which has since long become known as the smart fortwo. Measuring little more than two and a half metres in length, the uncompromising two-seater fitted crossways into parking spaces and established a new class of its own. Idea and brand successfully established worldwide.
With its uniquely short design, the smart is simply unbeatable for city driving - much to the delight of smart drivers in ever more cities all over the world. Following the smart fortwo's initial launch in Germany and eight other European countries, it is now available in 46 countries across the globe.
It has always been part of the smart concept to offer customers numerous additional services in the area of individual mobility. Back in an early phase of the brand's history, for example, the smartmove programme enabled drivers to rent a larger car on favourable terms, to reserve special parking spaces and to avail themselves of a car sharing programme - services which have since undergone further development and which remain closely linked to smart today as "smart add-on" or "car2go".
smart is also a pioneer of the local emission-free electric drive: 2012 saw the launch of the third-generation smart fortwo electric drive. With the new models, smart customers can enjoy even more fun at the wheel of an attractively priced vehicle that has the familiar compact dimensions, be it in coupe or cabrio style. With its 74 hp electric motor the smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0 - 60 mph in tbd seconds, and with a maximum speed of 96 mph driving pleasure is also guaranteed on urban motorways. The 17.6 kWh battery enables the urban two-seater to travel up to 60 miles in city traffic without producing any local emissions. The sale&care model makes opting into electric mobility particularly attractive:
it offers customers an opportunity to buy, finance or lease the vehicle at an attractive price and to rent the battery for a monthly fee.
2012 also witnessed the introduction of the first smart with just two wheels: the smart ebike features an unconventional design in line with the style of the brand, functions appropriate for city use and high technology standards which are reflected by an extremely efficient high-performance drive package among other merits.
Total sales for the smart fortwo well in excess of 1.5 million show how successfully smart has turned the idea for this unique city car into reality. Annual sales also remained stable around the 100,000 mark in the final years of the model lifecycle. In 2013 the smart electric drive was the market leader in Germany and ranked 3rd in Europe and 5th worldwide in the registration statistics for electric cars. At the beginning of 2014 the smart fortwo won the title of "Microcar of the Year" for the fifth time in succession in China. Today, five years after the market launch, China is the third most successful market for smart, after Germany and Italy.