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2016 Smart Fortwo Coming to America, Smart Forfour Perhaps Not

By: Jeff Youngs, 7/24/2014

The diminutive Smart Fortwo, originally designed for dwellers of cramped urban areas, is redesigned for the 2016 model year. Developed in partnership with Renault, the new 2016 Smart Fortwo retains its familiar rear-engine, rear-drive, 2-passenger layout, as well as its signature maneuverability in cities.

The new 2016 Fortwo is the same length as the outgoing model, and retains its twin-section tailgate for easy loading in tight quarters. A redesigned suspension aims to improve ride quality, in combination with a wider rear track for better handling and stability. Variable-effort electric steering is standard, along with a hill-hold function.

Initially, the redesigned Smart Fortwo will offer a choice between a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine generating 71 horsepower or a turbocharged, 0.9-liter 3-cylinder engine good for 90 horsepower and significantly more torque. Automatic start/stop technology helps conserve fuel, and buyers choose between the standard 5-speed manual gearbox and a 6-speed "Twinamic" automated dual-clutch manual transmission.

The hardware is packaged in Smart's Tridion safety-cell body structure, the exposed elements of which are highlighted in a contrasting body color. Smart says it has used plenty of ultra-high- and maximum-strength steel in the Tridion structure's construction, and as a result the new Fortwo performs well in crash tests with larger and heavier vehicles. Keep in mind, however, that the NHTSA and IIHS have yet to conduct safety tests on the new Fortwo.

Smart plans to offer the new 2016 Fortwo in Passion, Prime, and Proxy trim levels. An Edition #1 variant will also be available for a short time just after the car's launch, identified by Lava Orange Tridion structural elements and white body panels.

Expected standard equipment includes power door locks, power windows, cruise control, telescopic steering wheel, and Bluetooth connectivity. The front passenger's seat folds to expand cargo space, a driver's knee air bag is standard, and the new Smart Fortwo includes Crosswind Assist technology for the first time. Additional standard features include an anti-theft immobilizer, LCD gauge cluster, trip computer, and an outside-temperature indicator.

Forward-collision warning and lane-keeping assist are options, along with a touch-screen infotainment system with Smart CrossConnect smartphone integration technology. The new Fortwo can also be upgraded with a navigation system, premium sound system, heated seats, sport-tuned suspension, LED running lights, LED taillights, and a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel.

In addition to the redesigned Smart Fortwo, the company's global markets will receive a new, larger Smart Forfour model. However, this version may not come to the U.S. market due to regulatory issues.

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