Smart Fortwo Gains Style, Comfort, Real Transmission

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Smart Fortwo Gains Style, Comfort, Real Transmission

There’s a new smart for two coming and that’s great news. 

The old model is wildly popular in Paris where space seems to be at a higher premium than gold bouillon, but let’s be honest for a minute: it’s the German equivalent of a Japanese micro hotel. It’s tiny and space efficient, but there just wasn’t anything sexy about it.

That’s all going to change when the new generation arrives. Smart gave it a curvy new body and Daimler co-developed the car with Renault to share a platform with the new TwinGo.

At 22.8 feet, its turning circle is positively tiny (and of course smaller than it was before). In fact, Smart says its new minicar can make u-turn in less space than any other car.

2014 Paris Motor Show Coverage

It’s also going to be better to drive because the new car finally does away with the lamentable single-clutch automated manual transmission in favor of a five-speed dual-clutch.

A range of new three-cylinder engines will power the car globally, of which the strongest is a turbocharged unit making 90 hp. That’s not much, but keep in mind that it’s actually more than 28 percent more power than the current fortwo.

Power is still sent to the rear wheels, but don’t expect the new car to be particularly sporty because the company says it tuned the third generation car to be more comfortable.

A specific US release date hasn’t been announced yet, but with arrival pegged for the 2016 model year, there is still a little while to wait before have a chance to buy.

GALLERY: 2016 Smart Fortwo Live Photos

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GALLERY: 2016 Smart Forfour Live Photos

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  • smartacus

    Will the 6-speed dual clutch and 5-speed be offered on both engines?

  • EricV

    Part and parcel of the Smart Fortwo is fuel economy. It’s a tiny car. With a 90 Hp turbo engine, it’s still a tiny car, but now with fuel economy that a larger car can equal… Missing the market comes to mind. Give that idea back to Daimler and send the Diesel to the US market.

  • Steve Grinwis

    It’s also a LOT of fun to drive. Just sayin’.

  • It’s not going to be sporty? Of course not, the wheelbase makes it inherently unstable. The cornering ability of the present model is poorer than any full-size SUV. (It has the slowest slalom speed tested by Road & Track of any contemporary vehicle.)

    Remember, the first generation were held back on the market while every single one was retrofitted with Stability Control after journalists flipped several of them on the first day.

    WL, thecarchat.net

  • Angela

    The new style looks too plastic. I prefer the older styling.

  • Ryan Petko

    Sorry, but first, diesel? The diesel didn’t come to the US originally because it didn’t have sufficient acceleration. The new ForTwo doesn’t even have a diesel option. Second… “now with a fuel economy a larger car can match” cause it can now be bought with a turbo? Did you not know that forced induction tends to INCREASE fuel economy compared to a naturally aspirated engine? If the conversion is correct, and it doesn’t take a hit with emissions, it’ll get an estimated 50mpg.

  • EricV

    Diesels don’t come to the US because of the DOT and EPA restrictions and costs to meet them, not because of insufficient acceleration. Sure, it’s not a power house, but it’s a Smart, none of them are. I have quite a bit of experience with forced induction, actually. 😉 I get 50 now from my ForTwo. I’d rather be getting the 78 mpg of the Diesel that already exists in the EU.

    As for turbos increasing mpg, low boost systems can and do increase mpg by increasing volumetric efficiency over what a normally aspirated engine can achieve. Some of the new common rail, very high pressure, direct injection gas engines are getting impressive numbers, but so far, diesel will still beat those numbers for the given type of system.

    I’m not asking for something that doesn’t exist, only for what does exist to be allowed to be imported to the US. Choice is a good thing.

  • sɐıqoʇ

    Every time there is any publication regarding smart we see the podium get rolled out and have to listen to a bunch of severely underinformed, opinionated gibberish.

    The smart is fun to drive, very easy to park, quite fuel-efficient. When I bought mine in 2008 there was no other ICE vehicle available for sale in the US with better gas mileage. Now you could buy a couple of vehicles that may better gas mileage (barely), but why buy a four seater when I only ever need 2 seats?

  • Ryan Petko

    Yes, the cost for emissions and everything would have been quite high, but if you look into it, they also decided against it because of the lack of performance with the diesel ForTwo… which is understandable.

    And again, the only ForTwo diesel you’d be able to import would be an older one, as the diesel was also abandoned in Europe.

  • holly

    Eric, how are you getting 50 mpg ? The best I’ve gotten is about 41 on the highway. I have an original 2008 passion.

  • EricV

    Holly, 55-65 steady driving in ‘auto’ on hiway w/o hills will get me 49-51 mpg. My average commuting mpg is 46-47 at speeds from 25-45 all in auto. I use manual for hills where I know I need to downshift to keep my speed up, but otherwise have a light foot and leave it in auto. I notice I get a little better mpg right after an oil change too. And I keep my tire pressure up to spec. Using Khumo Solas tires. Like them better than the Contis that came on my ’09 Passion.

    If I’m doing an interstate trip, (80 mph limits here in UT), my mpg drops down to a fairly consistent 42, (the same as my 1200cc motorcycle!).

  • EricV

    ;-P Older being a ’14 model, but yes, discontinued for the ’15 EU model year. Many auto makers are making the big mistake of making bigger, fatter, heavier, more powerful cars for the US market. Try and find a “small” pick up now days. I’m glad we have a choice, but my choice runs to smaller, lighter and more efficient, not faster and more powerful “economy” cars.

    @Ryan – IMHO, the publicly stated lack of performance is just the marketing hype for their choice to not spend the money to certify the diesel engine and meet the DOT/EPA regs. I drove a diesel fortwo in Canada and I was fine with it’s performance. But hey, I’ve had a 300 rwhp turbo Miata in the past, so I know what performance is, and I don’t look for that from Smart, I look for awesome commuter mpg in a comfortable, live-able car that can still do the weeks shopping at Home Depot, Costco, Lins/Albertsons, etc. and carry two people while doing it.

  • holly

    Hi EricV; thanks for your response. I’m doing pretty much the same including coasting when safe to do so. I’m in Northern California, however, and most of my driving is in commute hours when it is stop and inch, stop and inch! I’ll look into the Khumo Solas tires. Thanks for your suggestion.

  • EricV

    I feel for you Holly, NorCal commuting can be tough. Or very fast on 680 when it’s moving. The only other factor that’s likely partly to blame is the gas quality. I am still stuck with E10, but I always seem to get poorer mpg with CA gas when I’m out that way, regardless of vehicle. Just don’t try lane splitting in the Smart!! 🙂

    I noticed that my TPMS will only light up when the tires are nearly 10 psi lower than the door spec. I try to check it monthly to avoid lower than normal pressures. Usually not a problem, but low tire pressure kills mpg too.