Born out of the notion of a “car of the future” in the1970s, this brainchild of Mercedes-Benz developers initially took shape in 1994 when Swatch watch inventor Nicholas G. Hayek joined the collaboration. In 1998, the first smart production model, the smart city coupé, saw the light of day as a statement, not status symbol, and proved a welcome addition to the globe’s busy metropolises.
The nimble city coupé was soon joined by an entire family of smart choices: a convertible version, the limited crossblade edition (one of the 2000 production models graces Robbie Williams’ garage), and the smart roadster, followed by a joint venture between the brand and BRABUS. The second smart fortwo, unleashed in 2003, already boasted a bigger engine, a safer exterior, and a more dynamic look – yet this was by no means the end of the road for the compact marvel: Now, eleven years on, a new smart fortwo is raring to take to the streets.
A mere 2.69 m long, the fortwo nevertheless beats all contenders in its segment in terms of passenger space, highlighting its ‘urban original’ title. As agile, versatile, and practical as its predecessor, it also comes with the smallest turn radius of 6.95 m and an ultra-compact three-cylinder rear engine mounted underneath the trunk. The latest smart fortwo and its big brother, the forfour, also share engines with a new Renault model, thus offering the brand’s first fully manual transmission alongside an optional dual-clutch gearbox (available in 2015).
Taking design inspiration from previous smart concept cars like the FourJoy and ForStars, the new smart has swapped its pointed face for a two-box design and conventional hood. The new fortwo model is wider with a more confident stance and exhibits the trademark smart hexagonal motif.
So, the new fortwo might have been a while in the making, yet the love, thought, and care that has been lavished on this model is more than evident. Thanks to a wealth of customization options, ranging from a choice of chassis colors to a custom smart audio system or panoramic roof, each smart fortwo will be unique and just right; a versatile car for any taste and anyone.
Well, that’s the fortwo for you, but what about the upcoming forfour? Stay tuned for an update on the new model!
Text: Lilly Wolf
Header image: The new smart fortwo (fuel consumption (combined) 4,2-4,1l/100 km, CO2 emissions (combined) 97-93g/km) at the world premiere in Berlin, photo: Daimler