Expected to debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March, the changes appear to be primarily cosmetic.
The new ForTwo gets a larger radiator grille, now with an integrated and chrome-plated Smart logo, flared front fenders, beefy side sills and a revised front end that gives the car a much more aggressive appearance.
There are horizontal daytime LED running lights as an available option, and buyers will get a choice of three new wheel designs. Passion models come standard with a new nine-spoke alloy wheel, but two choices for wheel upgrades (a three-spoke and a three-twin-spoke design) will be offered, both with wider tires.
New colors will be offered for 2013, including matte anthracite and white (for Brabus Xclusive models, not offered in the United States). Brabus Cabrio buyers in Europe will also get a choice of six new soft top colors.
Inside, there’s a new crystal gray interior package, which uses a leather and fabric combination for the seats, while offering up leather-look trim for door panels, the instrument panel and knee padding.
In Europe, there will be six powertrain options, ranging from the improved-for-2012 ForTwo Electric Drive to the 102-horsepower Smart ForTwo Brabus, which can run from 0--62 mph in under nine seconds and has a top speed of 96 mph.
There are two “micro hybrid” engine options for European buyers as well, not to mention a turbodiesel variant that we won’t see on these shores. That’s a shame, since the Smart ForTwo cdi delivers an impressive 71 mpg rating in Euro-cycle testing (which is some 20 percent optimistic compared to our own EPA ratings).
It’s unlikely that U.S. buyers will get more engine options for 2013, as Smart sales have been less than impressive on these shores. Look for U.S. versions to soldier on with the current 1.0-liter three-cylinder, good for 70 horsepower and 68 pound-feet of torque.