2016 Smart Fortwo, Forfour Debut With Dual-Clutch

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande
Der neue smart fortwo, 2014 Body panels in midnight blue (metallic), tridion Sicherheitszelle in white Der neue smart forfour, 2014 Karosserie in graphite grey (metallic), tridion Sicherheitszelle in lava orange (metallic) Peking The new smart fortwo, 2014 Body panels in midnight blue (metallic), tridion safety cell in white The new smart forfour, 2014 Body in…

Smart just debuted its new fortwo and forfour city cars at an event in Berlin marking the return of a four-seat car to the brand.

Daimler developed the new generation of cars in conjunction with Renault, retaining the rear-engine setup from previous fortwo models. The forfour and fortwo are based on the same platform, of course with a bigger chassis for the four-passenger version. The new fortwo will begin arriving in U.S. dealerships sometime next year for the 2016 model year. A Mercedes representative said the company hasn’t made a decisions yet about launching the new forfour in this market.

Both cars wear updated sheet metal with a curvier look pulled from the concept cars smart trotted out at auto shows over the last several years. Important as the updated styling will be in improving the fortwo’s image beside more stylish city cars, extensive mechanical changes the company revealed today will probably play a bigger role in determining how the new fortwo and forfour are received.

Rather than using the automated single-clutch gearbox that the current fortwo uses, smart is implementing a dual-clutch transmission along with a five-speed manual. The powertrain is available with one of two engines: a 1.0-liter naturally aspirated three-cylinder that makes 71 hp 67 lb-ft of torque or a smaller 0.9-liter turbo three-cylinder with 90 hp and roughly 100 lb-ft of torque. After the initial product launch the company will also offer a less powerful 60 hp engine as well, though the company hasn’t said which of those powertrains will be sold here.

The standard equipment list announced today includes LED daytime running lights, cruise control with a variable speed limiter, an exterior temperature thermometer and a monochrome LCD display in the instrument cluster among others.

Smart is also offering touch screen navigation and smartphone integration along with an optional JBL sound system designed specifically for the car that includes a removable subwoofer to save cabin space when necessary.

Aside from adding content, the new car also comes with features meant to make it safer. For example, they all come with a crosswind counteracting feature meant to keep the car from swerving after hitting a strong surprise gust while driving at 50 MPH and above. There is also optional forward collision warning as well as a lane-keeping feature that prevents the car from drifting into another lane. Smart also performed crash tests with larger vehicles; specifically the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and S-Class. Smart said the crash tests far exceeded European requirements although that says nothing about how the car will perform once the IIHS smashes a few of them during its grueling battery of tests.

GALLERY: 2016 smart fortwo, forfour

Discuss this story at our smart car forum

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/112531385961538774338?rel=author">Google+</A>.

More by Luke Vandezande

Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • LoveSmallCars LoveSmallCars on Jul 17, 2014

    I'm excited to finally see the new Smart Fortwo! The interior looks great and the mechanical improvements are encouraging. I hope its performance is vastly improved over the current car. I am however somewhat mixed on the exterior styling. I don't think it's a bad looking car, but I feel some of the spirit of the car has been lost in an effort to make it more mainstream. I don't like that the windshield has been flattened a little in an effort the make the hood longer (my understanding is the longer hood is do to European safety standards). In any case with the improvements and new styling I hope the car does well!

  • Tarik El-Yabani Tarik El-Yabani on Jul 18, 2014

    It is based on the Renault Twingo and uses Renault sourced engines. I have used the exact same radio in Renault and Dacia products. So much for this being a premium Mercedes-Benz sub-brand!