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New Smart Car Range

By Franky Johnson

The new smart fortwo has undergone major improvements in virtually all areas and is markedly more comfortable. The hallmark smart rear engine concept is being offered for the first time in the four-seater smart forfour as well. Drive power is supplied by state-of-the-art three-cylinder engine rated at 52 kW, while power transmission is performed by a five-speed manual transmission. A host of innovative details guarantee even more fun in the city.

The smart brand appeals equally to the heart and mind. An expressive design idiom and colouring embody pure joie de vivre. The compact proportions and clever details testify unique functionality. The new smart fortwo and the new smart forfour are clearly recognisable as members of the same family. Many design features such as the headlamps, the cooling air grille in the front and the iconic tridion safety cell are identical, for example. In addition, both vehicles are fitted with rear engines, making them particularly agile in urban traffic.

Short overhangs, a minimal length and a high steering angle are further optimal prerequisites for ensuring that the new smart models get around every corner and into every parking space. When it comes to the turning circle, the new smart fortwo sets a new benchmark: at 6.95 m (from kerb to kerb) and 7.30 m (from wall to wall) it makes turning manoeuvres extremely simple. And the new smart forfour turns almost as compactly as the previous fortwo (wall to wall: 8.75 m). Its statistics are 8.65 m (kerb to kerb) and 8.95 m (wall to wall). This outstanding manoeuvrability is attributable in part to the Direct-Steer system with variable ratio and electric power assistance which features as standard on all smart models.

The new models also come up trumps once again with regard to the maximum space packed into minimal dimensions, as documented by the excellent body space index. This describes the ratio of interior to exterior length, whereby the interior length is measured from the accelerator pedal in unused position along a horizontal line to the rear end, as a simple means of comparison between different vehicles. Both the new models from smart attain top ratings for this criterion: 75% (smart fortwo) und 77 % (smart forfour).

The new smart forfour naturally offers the greater loading capacity. The rear seat backrests can be folded down to produce a level load surface measuring 1285 x 996 mm with a cargo volume of up to 975 litres – the benchmark in its segment. The loading length with the front passenger seat backrest folded forward is also exceptional, at 2.22 metres.

And on top of all this, reversible cushions are optionally available for the rear seats in the forfour. The "readyspace" seats in the rear can be turned around and lowered substantially in next to no time to produce 12 cm more loading height inside, which is very simple to make use of thanks to the rear doors which open to an angle of almost 90°.

Real-life safety – safety features

The essential safety concept embodied so successfully by the preceding models has been retained. Like a nut, the interior is protected from harm by a rigid shell: the tridion safety cell. A high proportion of ultra-high strength hot-formed steels and maximum-strength multiphase steel is now used on the new smarts. In keeping with the Mercedes-Benz “real-life safety" philosophy, the focus in car-to-car crash tests was on compatibility with substantially larger and heavier vehicles. The new smart vehicles performed well in frontal collisions with the S- and C-Class.

Advanced assistance systems which were previously the reserve of higher classes of vehicle further enhance safety and comfort. These include crosswind assist (standard), forward collision warning (option) and Lane Keeping Assist (option). smart therefore offers customers safety features that go far beyond what is usual in the segment.

A new front axle design adopting elements of the previous Mercedes-Benz C-Class, an optimised De Dion rear axle, substantially increased spring travel all round, tyres with higher side walls and an unprecedentedly small turning circle are the highlights of the new chassis. The chassis and suspension of the new smart generation have evolved on the basis of the experience acquired with previous smart models and have been designed for markedly enhanced ride comfort.

New three-cylinder engine, dual clutch transmission – the drive system

The state-of-the-art three-cylinder engine will be available for the new smart models at market launch: the naturally aspirated engine generates 52 kW from a capacity of 999 cc. Thanks to maximum torque of 91 Nm at 2850 r/min it enables economical driving, particularly in urban traffic.

Apart from the turbocharger, a whole range of other technical measures also contributes to the engine's excellent fuel efficiency and performance. These include variable adjustment of the inlet valve timing. Another defining trait of the all-aluminium three-cylinder engine is the square bore/stroke ratio.

A sporty five-speed manual transmission is available for the 52 kW engine in the smart fortwo and forfour. The smart forfour with the 66 kW 3-cylinder in-line turbo-charged engine, the six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission with the automatic start/stop system is standard.

Passion, Prime, Proxy

Three equipment lines (passion, prime and proxy) and a wealth of optional items, some of which were previously the reserve of higher segments, make every smart fortwo or smart forfour a unique gem in its own right. Even in the entry-level version, both models offer a comprehensive scope of safety and comfort features. These include LED daytime driving lights, central locking with radio remote control, visual locking-verification signal and immobiliser, cruise control with limiter (variable speed limitation), exterior temperature indicator with frost warning, ESP® with crosswind stabilisation, active belt tensioners at the rear of the forfour and electric windows in the front.

passion, prime and proxy are the names of the three lines which serve to upgrade the smart fortwo and smart forfour and provide for differentiation, particularly in the interior. Their features include a leather multifunction steering wheel, an instrument cluster with 3.5-inch TFT colour display and heated seats.

The multimedia systems meet the highest standards, with comprehensive smartphone integration, real-time navigation and intuitive operation with touchscreen. For the first time, smart is offering the JBL Soundsystem, which produces an impressively full sound. It incorporates a 6-channel DSP amplifier (240 watts) in the fortwo and an 8-channel DSP amplifier (320 watts) on board the forfour. A total of eight (fortwo) or twelve (forfour) high-performance loudspeakers provide for outstanding listening pleasure. Particularly practical: the bass speaker accommodated in the luggage compartment of the fortwo can simply be removed when more space is needed – a further detail underlining the outstanding everyday practicality of the vehicle concept.

Furthermore, smart cross connect is a revolutionary new app which is made available to customers free of charge by smart for the smart fortwo and smart forfour. The app was specially developed for in-vehicle use on the road and for continued use outside the vehicle. It is available for mobile phones with iOS and Android. A cradle has been developed for in-car use and it securely holds all different kinds of smartphone models in the vehicle (available end 2016).

FUN.ctional exterior design

Extremely short overhangs at front and rear – the new smart generation also possesses these typical proportions. And thanks to the 100 mm wider track, the wheels are positioned further outwards. These characteristic proportions offer outstanding visibility and agility and, together with the rear engine, enable a passenger cell accommodating an unrivalled amount of space in such compact dimensions. The colour contrast between tridion cell and bodypanels is another characteristic feature of the smart brand.

The smart designers refer to the evolutionary development of the silhouette as the "one-and-a-half box" design. The higher bonnet lends the smart a more grown-up and sportier character.

The smart displays a friendly but self-assured face. A decisive feature of this friendly face is the signature smart grille, which is now slightly larger. The grille's perforated structure results from a honeycomb pattern. The honeycomb is paler towards the outside – the designers refer to this as fading. The radiator trim is available in a variety of colours to match or contrast with the bodypanels, including black, cool silver and white. The second, black cooling air opening in the bumper also features the honeycomb pattern.

The markedly larger, updated smart logo in the middle of the grille also demonstrates self-confidence. It is now three-dimensional and almost spherical in shape, harmonising with the smart's distinctly more sensuous lines. The logo features a matt finish rather than a high-gloss look, similarly to all the sparingly applied chrome accents.

The rhombic front lamps are truncated slightly at the top, producing an attractive sporty look. The U-shaped daytime driving lights add a characteristic design feature. In combination with the LED & Sensor package, the headlamps incorporate a welcome function: when the car is unlocked, the light in the headlamps pulsates, as if the smart were welcoming its owner.

A loving attention to detail is demonstrated, for example, by the way in which the honeycomb pattern is cited in the headlamp covers. On the indicators, the honeycomb pattern even performs the function of dispersing the light. The bonnet also highlights the new sculptural lines, describing a powerful and sporty downward sweep between the headlamps.

The new smart forfour is clearly recognisable as a member of the new smart family, sharing many design features with the smart fortwo. Naturally enough, it is in the profile that the greatest difference is to be found between the fortwo and the forfour: the smart fortwo has a large door extending into the B-pillar with a frameless window. The typical smart genes are thus recognisable from afar on the road: the striking door contours and the unique tridion cell. A characteristic swage line, such as is featured in the middle of the doors, underscores the brand image. This is adjoined by the fuel filler cap on the right and the air inlet for the rear engine under the B-pillar on the left. As previously, the door is lined with a panel in high-quality lightweight plastic. This allows the king of the car park to shrug off any knocks and bumps from other road users.

The side view of the smart forfour reveals the same elements as the fortwo, but has a longer tridion cell as well as the additional door. The front and rear overhangs appear just as short as on the fortwo. The forfour's roof line slopes downward towards the rear in coupé style.

A new feature on both models is the pronounced shoulderline. This gives both variants a beefy road stance and establishes a visual separation between vehicle body and greenhouse.

smart drivers love the twin-section tailgate. The new smart fortwo thus boasts this special feature once again, enabling the vehicle to be loaded even in the tightest parking spaces.

The rhombic tail lights framed by the tridion cell are reminiscent of the first smart generation and combine with the large track width to emphasise the width at the rear. A unique LED scenario is optionally available in conjunction with the LED & Sensor package: eleven individually illuminated cubes are allocated to each tail light, providing for a striking night design. The typical honeycomb pattern features once again in the clear glass over the indicators and reversing lights in the middle of the lamps.

The smart forfour essentially has the same elements as the smart fortwo. It is fitted with an upward-opening single-section tailgate, however, to enable convenient loading of the lower luggage compartment.

New, rich exterior colours and around 40 combination options for bodypanels and tridion cell signal the brand's upbeat image. New colours now available include moon white (matt), lava orange (metallic) and hazel brown (metallic), which can be applied to contrast with new colours for the tridion cell such as cool silver (metallic) or lava orange (metallic).

Easy-going and charming interior design

"Loop" is the designers' name for the emotional sweep that features as a leitmotif in the interior, embellishing the dashboard and doors, for example. The sculptural dashboard itself consists of two sections – a bold and sensuous outer section which can optionally be covered with fabric, and a large, concave inner section incorporating the functional elements. In front of the dashboard, the instrument cluster and the infotainment centre with radio/navigation appear to hover as added elements.

The dashboard and the door centre panels in the three lines feature extensive fabric coverings. This high-quality textile surface is very pleasant to the touch and is reminiscent of the mesh inserts in modern sports shoes. The mesh structure is a USP in this vehicle segment.

The colour and material concept underscores the easy-going and charming character of the new smart generation, with the equipment lines standing for a distinctive and individual appearance. The sporty front seats with bold contours are designed as integral seats.

The instrument cluster and its semi-circular segmentation for the speed and warning indicators cites the previous smart models, but in a new look. The striking spherical air vents are simple and fun to use. The centrally positioned air conditioning control unit also features an unusual appearance: the desired temperature can be set on a scale in the middle with the aid of a sliding magnifying glass.

The three-spoke steering wheel is optionally available as a multifunction variant which can be used to control the radio or navigation unit positioned in the centre of the dashboard. The infotainment centre in modern consumer electronics style appears to hover in front of the dashboard. The interior thus reflects the values of a young, active and networked generation.

The doors take up the "loop" of the dashboard with their ellipsoidal sweep. The large armrest provides for comfort. The honeycomb pattern from the exterior is cited on the integrated loudspeaker and the tweeter in the mirror triangle.

Pricing

All smart models come standard with a smart Service Plan - three-years/60 000 km.

smart fortwo 52 kW manual transmission:
Base R174 900
passion R194 400
prime R203 400
proxy R207 400

smart forfour 52 kW manual transmission:
Base R179 900
passion R199 400
prime R210 900
proxy R212 400

smart forfour 66 kW automatic transmission:
Base R210 400
passion R229 900
prime R241 400
proxy R242 900

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