Wednesday, July 23, 2014
2016 Smart ForTwo and ForFour Info
Smart has been around since 1998 selling city cars to people all over the world. Unfortunately, the gas-powered ForTwo leaves a lot to be desired in the drivetrain department, even for a city car as we found out in our 2011 Smart ForTwo Passion review. However, that is likely to change with the release of the all-new 2016 Smart ForTwo and larger ForFour.
There won't be any confusion as to whether or not these are Smart cars, as the ForTwo and even the ForFour retain classic Smart car styling elements. The front end will get the biggest change, adopting a more square fascia. We think the overall look is pretty good, and the ForFour seems like a great idea for the U.S.'s larger tastes. The new Smarts have a track that's nearly four inches wider, too.
Thankfully, the dreadful manumatic drivetrain will be deep-sixed for far a bona-fide manual transmission or dual-clutch gearbox. This automatically actuated manual transmission architecture was the car's Achilles heel, and prevented the car from being more entertaining and comfortable to drive.
The 2016 cars will still be rear engine, rear drive beasties with three-cylinder engines. Initially, there will be two engines: a 999cc normally aspirated making 71 horsepower, and an 898cc turbo version (!) making 90 hp. After the initial launch, Smart says there will be a basic 60 hp gas engine available as well.
Smart will also have three new lines: Passion, Prime, and Proxy (apparently the Pure is going away). The cars will be available with niceties such as LED daytime running lights, cruise control, instrument cluster with 3.5" LCD display, and a JBL sound system. Of course, the interior is also all new.
Other things of note include hill hold assist, a new McPherson suspension and twin-tube shocks with optional sports tuning (10mm lower and stiffer), a new rear axle, and new mechanical rack-and-pinion steering. In addition, the new ForTwo and ForFour have a crosswind assist feature standard, so no more worrying about being buffeted by strong side gusts.
Of course, Smart is touting thing car's safety, despite it's diminutive size. It'll still have the tridion safety cell and all the necessary three-letter safety acronyms.
Currently, Germany, Italy, and China are the Smart's top markets and it'll be interesting to see if the car gains any traction in the U.S. market. Since it's being proven that practical four-door A-segment city cars, such as the Chevrolet Spark and even the Mitsubishi Mirage, will sell if priced correctly, I'll be watching to see how much the new Smarts retail for assuming we get the ForFour.