Fans of the third-generation Smart ForTwo that’s just gone on sale will soon be able to opt for an open-top version as Daimler’s minicar brand has just revealed a new Fortwo Cabrio. The car is on show this week at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show and confirmed to reach showrooms in the United States by early summer of 2016. In other markets it will be available by February.
Smart hasn’t pulled any surprises with its latest-generation ForTwo Cabrio. The car features what Smart calls a Tritop, a roof design a bit like the one on the Fiat 500 Cabrio since it enables three configurations: completely closed off, slid open or completely folded away. The roof is 0.8 of an inch thick and consists of multiple layers including a rubber lining in the center and a polyester fabric on the outside.
The roof can be operated while on the move and takes about 12 seconds to go up or down. The driver can also control the roof from outside the car using the key fob. While its operation is automatic, there are some side bars that need to be manually stowed to get the maximum open space. These side bars are stowed on the inside of the tailgate.
To accommodate the new open design, the ForTwo Cabrio required addition reinforcements in key areas in comparison to the coupe. It means the new smart ForTwo Cabrio is the most rigid Smart Cabrio ever. The torsional strength has been improved by around 15 percent compared with the predecessor.
New Smart ForTwo CabrioEnlarge Photo
The modifications include a large steel cross under the vehicle, two torsional bulkheads under the vehicle at the front and rear and an inner tube in the A-pillars made of high strength hot-formed steel. Of course, the extra weight of the modifications will likely have an effect on performance.
While buyers in other markets have a choice between three three-cylinder engines initially, all of them gasoline units, in the U.S. we only get a single unit, good for 89 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque. We do, however, have the choice of five-speed manual and six-speed dual-clutch transmissions.
There are four trim levels—Pure (base), Passion, Prime and Proxy—and buyers can also select additional comfort and safety items. The latter includes some electronic driver aids such as a collision warning system.
For more from the Frankfurt Auto Show, head to our dedicated hub.