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Smart is planning to produce a successor to its now retired roadster with the new model is set to hit dealers next year. Inspired by the ForSpeed concept (above), which was revealed at the Geneva Auto Show in March, the car is expected to stay true to the 2003 original with the distinctive low stance. Other design highlights are set to include sculpted flanks along with intricate detailing.
The Smart Roadster was to make a comeback in 2006 when an industry group called Project Kimber planned to sell revised versions of the car using the AC Ace badge. Production was to commence in 2007, but the operation was quietly dropped before a prototype had even hit the road.
In addition to this model, all-new versions of the ForTwo and ForFour are scheduled to hit showrooms in 2014.
GALLERY: Smart ForSpeed EV Roadster
We’re all familiar with the Smart ForTwo, which is a polarizing vehicle to say the least, but initial impressions of their newest concept, the Forspeed EV Roadster, which debuted at the Geneva Auto Show, are all lining up in one direction, and it’s not exactly positive.
Sure, the chopped roof and windshield are kind of cool, but the front end treatment looks like two Lifesaver candies and a sheet of chickenwire, and the three-spoke wheels look to be inspired by mid-1990′s MOMOs you could have purchased from TireRack. The electric powertrain puts out around 40 horsepower, with a 7 horsepower “overboost” function and a top speed of 75 mph. We’ll stick with the standard ForTwo. If we must.
GALLERY: Smart Forspeed EV Roadster
The Forspeed concept is Smart‘s interpretation of a zero-emissions roadster, based on the only vehicle Smart currently builds: its Fortwo city car.
It’s designed to complement the rest of Smart’s electric transportation lineup for really small vehicles, which includes a scooter and a bicycle. The squat, roofless car features huge, ringed headlights reminiscent of eyelashes, dotted grilles, and a white-on-white color scheme inside and out, designed with a “unique and electric look, but is still recognizable as a Smart,” says Mercedes head of design Steffen Kohl.
And you may think three-spoke wheels fell out of fashion in the late-90s, but the Forspeed is rocking them with pride. The interior also features brown leather trim on the door pulls and steering wheel, and solar cells in the wind deflectors to power the car’s electronics.
The 40-horsepower electric motor in the back features an “overboost” function: when the driver presses a button in the center console the motor calls up seven extra horsepower. Think of it as a really toned-down version of the Turbo function from OutRun. The motor can propel the Forspeed up to 75mph and a range of 84 miles.