These are the latest spy shots of a prototype for the new Smart Fortwo, the third generation of the Mercedes minicar and the first to be developed with another automaker. Yes, Smart teamed up with alliance partner Renault to develop the platform for the new Fortwo, a car that is expected to be revealed this summer before a formal debut at the 2014 Paris Auto Show in October.
The platform retains Smart’s rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive concept and Renault has already used it for its latest Twingo
. The French automaker will also be helping with production of some Smart variants—we say variants as Smart will once again offer a four-door Forfour model
with the arrival of the new generation.
The latest prototype gives us a glimpse at the new shape of the 2015 Fortwo. As for the styling, Smart’s latest Fourjoy concept
points the way. Key details will be square-shaped lights, a honeycomb grille and minimalist interior. A photo revealing part of the interior is also included in the latest round of spy shots.
The current Fortwo’s array of gasoline, diesel (overseas) and electric powertrains should carry over to the new generation, though with significant updates to make them more efficient. The current Fortwo, which averages about 34/38 mpg city/highway, has fallen short to newcomers like the Scion iQ and Chevrolet Spark, which offer similar economy but more interior space.
The Smart plant in Hambach, France will be responsible for production of the two-door Fortwo we see here, while the Renault plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia will be the production base for the Forfour as well as the new Twingo. Note, Renault’s Japanese partner Nissan is also expected to launch its own model based on the new platform.
The respective launches of the jointly developed models were originally slated for 2013 but delays pushed the dates back to this year. Sales of the new Fortwo are expected to commence early next year, though, making the car a 2015 model. The new Forfour should arrive within a year of the Fortwo's launch. You can see prototypes for both cars in a previous promo video
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