2015 Smart Fortwo

Introduced in 1998, the Smart ForTwo revolutionized the city car segment through its short overall length and rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration. The first-generation ForTwo went on sale in 1998 with a range of small-displacement gasoline and diesel engines and a six-speed semi-automatic transmission. The three-door hatchback didn’t reach the U.S. market until 2008, when the second-gen ForTwo was launched with revised looks and brand-new engines. The old gasoline units were replaced by 1.0-liter powerplant, while the six-speed transmission made way for a five-speed semi-automatic. Output ranged between 53 and 83 horsepower on the regular cars, while the Brabus version generated 101 ponies and was the only one to reach a top speed of more than 90 mph. Going into 2015, the Smart ForTwo steps into its third generation as vehicle co-developed with French automaker Renault .

Sharing about 70 percent of its parts with the brand-new Renault Twingo, the new ForTwo was redesigned from the ground up and fitted with upgraded engines and all-new transmissions, including a manual gearbox. The 2016 ForTwo comes with many firsts, but you’ll have to read on to find out more about that.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Smart ForTwo

Spy Shots

March 31, 2014 - Smart ForTwo Caught on the road

Smart Fortwo
Smart Fortwo
Smart Fortwo

Exterior

Smart Fortwo
Smart Fortwo
Smart Fortwo

Completely redesigned on the outside, the ForTwo remains recognizable as a Smart . It features the same short overhangs and extremely compact proportions, albeit it sits on a slightly longer wheelbase and a wider track. Visually, the new ForTwo comes with a completely revised front fascia. The bumper carries a more muscular design and a rounded apron intake. The front grille is now larger and positioned higher toward the hood, while the headlamps received a rhombic shape. Needless to say, the new Smart sports a lively, crisper appearance.

Completely redesigned on the outside, the ForTwo remains recognizable as a Smart

The traditional Smart shape is still noticeable around back, especially in the bumper and hatch area, but nearly everything has been reshaped. Gone are the separated taillight units seen on the previous generation model, replaced by larger squares with the signals and the reverse lights mounted in the middle. When viewed from the side, the ForTwo showcases a more proportionate stance. The front trunk lid is longer than before, the roof seems to sit a bit lower, while the flared wheel arches are smoother and better integrated into the overall design.

As usual, the ForTwo comes in a two-tone finish with plenty of combinations to choose from. Likewise, numerous wheel options will allow buyers to customize their Smart Smart in more than one way. LED daytime running lights are standard on all trim levels, also a first for the Smart ForTwo.

2015 Smart Fortwo - Exterior Dimensions

Length2,690 MM (105.90 Inches)
Width1,660 MM (65.35 Inches)
Height1,550 MM (61.02 Inches)
Wheelbase1,873 MM (73.74 Inches)
Turning circle (curb-to-curb)6,950 MM (273.62 Inches)
Turning circle (wall-to-wall)7,300 MM (273.62 Inches)

Interior

Smart Fortwo

The revised instrument cluster and the infotainment system appear to hover in front of the dashboard

Brand new for the 2016 model year, the ForTwo’s interior exudes a modern and stylish feel. The old, sharper design has been dropped in favor of a loopier, more sculptural approach that includes both the dashboard and the door panels. The dashboard now consists of two individual sections — a bold outer section that can be covered in fabric and a concave inner section that includes most of the cabin’s functional elements. The revised instrument cluster and the infotainment system appear to hover in front of the dashboard, which now incorporates a larger center console that reaches between the front seats.

Both the dashboard and the door panels are covered in high-quality textile surfaces. This not only eliminates most of the hard plastic areas available in the cockpit, but also allows customers to further individualize their vehicle. The bolstered seats look rather sporty and share the same color combo as the rest of the interior. Rounding off the cabin are the spherical air vents and the three-spoke steering wheel, which can be optionally fitted with radio and navigation controls. In all, the ForTwo’s bold lively exterior appearance is equally present in the cabin, which comes with a premium-like fit and finish.

2015 Smart Fortwo - Interior Dimensions

Interior length (accelerator pedal to rear end)2,011 MM (79.17 Inches)
Body space index (ratio of length to interior length) (%)75
Luggage compartment capacity (behind front seats) (L)260
Luggage compartment capacity (behind front seats to roof) (L)350

Drivetrain

Smart Fortwo

Three new engines are motivating the third-generation Smart ForTwo

Three new engines are motivating the third-generation Smart ForTwo. At the bottom of the range sits a 1.0-liter (999cc), three-cylinder unit developing 60 horsepower. That’s a seven-pony improvement over the previous entry-level engine, which displaced 0.8-liters (799cc) and worked on diesel. The basic mill won’t become available at launch, but it will join the lineup a few months later.

Available right from the start are two more three-cylinder gasoline powerplants. Also displacing one liter, the mid-range three-pot generates 71 naturally aspirated horses and 67 pound-feet of torque that kick in from as low as 1,000 rpm. Those looking for more power in their city car can opt for the turbocharged, 0.9-liter (898cc) rated at a more peppy 90 horsepower and 99 pound-feet of torque. Although a tad smaller than the turbo 1.0-liter it replaces, the new three-banger provides 7 additional horses and 10 pound-feet.

A five-speed manual gearbox is available for the first time

Besides being more powerful, the new unit is also more efficient, thanks to its automatic start/stop system, variable swirl control and variable adjustment of the inlet valves.

Two transmissions are offered in the redesigned Smart ForTwo, both of which are brand-new. A five-speed manual gearbox is available for the first time, while the out-dated five-speed semi-automatic was replaced by a twinamic, six-speed dual-clutch autobox.

2015 Smart Fortwo - Drivetrain/Specifications

Type999 cc three-cylinder999 cc three-cylinder898 cc three-cylinder
Output60 HP71 HP90 HP
TorqueTBA67 LB-FT @ 2,85099 LB-FT @ 2,500

Suspension

Smart Fortwo

The new Smart ForTwo benefits from a reconfigured chassis as well, including a new McPherson suspension with a triple-path head bearing for the front axle and an updated De-Dion rear axle. Both provide greater comfort and improve the car’s handling characteristics. Those seeking sportier handling from their ForTwo can go with Smart’s sports suspension package. The bundle adds firmer springs and lowers the vehicle’s ride height by 0.4 inches (10 mm). Both the standard and the available sports suspension work in conjunction with the car’s updated ABS, ASR and ESP systems.

Prices

Smart Fortwo

Pricing information has yet to be released as of 07/17/2014, but Smart says it will correspond to that of the current model. Currently, the ForTwo retails from $13,270 and goes all the way up to $18,000 for the range-topping model.

Competition

Scion IQ

Scion iQ

Essentially a rebadged Toyota IQ , the Scion IQ is the ForTwo’s main rival in the United States. Measuring only 120 inches in length and 66 inches in width, the IQ is only slightly larger than the ForTwo and its body configuration similar to its German rival. On the other hand, the IQ has its engine mounted at the front, with the front wheels doing all the work. Although its interior lacks some of the bells and whistles available in the new ForTwo, the Scion IQ benefits from a relatively powerful engine.

The 1.3-liter, four-cylinder produces 94 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 89 pound-feet of torque at 4,4000 rpm, and uses a CVT-i transmission to send it to the pavement. The Japanese city car is fuel efficient too, returning 36 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. Compared to the current ForTwo, the IQ delivers two additional mpgs in the city, but that might change once the new EPA ratings for the Smart become available. Priced from $16,420, the Scion Scion is about three grand more expensive than the base ForTwo, but its output figures put it against the range-topping, turbocharged Smart, which is likely to cost more than that.

Conclusion

Smart Fortwo

So the brand-new Smart ForTwo isn’t that much more powerful or faster than its predecessor, but we mustn’t forget this tiny car is here to serve different purposes. Just like its forerunners, the third-generation ForTwo is brilliant at squeezing in the most tight parking places and through the city’s narrowest streets. With new engines, new transmissions (finally!), and a reconfigured chassis, the ForTwo is likely to win a few more mpgs. Hopefully, the Renault-sourced engines are less noisy and the stiffer suspension helps improve the previous generation’s annoyingly firm ride. In all, the 2016 model brings numerous updates to the most popular city car to date and the new design is bound to make the ForTwo even more popular among cost-conscious drivers.

LOVE IT
  • Lively new looks
  • Updated, stylish interior
  • Upgraded engine
  • New manual and automatic transmissions
LEAVE IT
  • No actual pricing and U.S. availability yet
  • A little slow for highway use
  • Wait for the Brabus version

Press Release

The revolution enters the next round – the smart fortwo has undergone 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 engines rated at 45 kW/60 hp, 52 kW/71 hp and 66 kW/90 hp, while power transmission is performed by a five-speed manual transmission or the twinamic automatic dual clutch transmission. A host of innovative details guarantee even more fun in the city. The new smart generation will be launched onto the market in Europe in November. The price for the smart fortwo will correspond to that of the current smart series, while the smart forfour will cost only around 600 euros more with the same engine.

Smart Fortwo

"As Europe’s youngest car brand, smart enjoys global success today. No-one combines functionality and emotionality as well as we do, as the inventors of individual urban mobility. The new smart fortwo and forfour adopt the proven concept while offering more of just about everything – more space, more colour, more equipment … and even more fun in the city! Only the vehicle length remains as unique as ever, at 2.69 metres," says smart boss Annette Winkler. "Our idea based on a total rethink of urban mobility has won through."
"In the planning phase we were clear that we wanted to retain the rear engine for the new smart, so as to continue to exploit the vehicles’ strengths to the full in the city," explains Jörg Prigl, head of the product group Compact Cars at Mercedes-Benz. "On this basis, we then developed the new fortwo and forfour together with our partner, Renault."
"We are proud to have made the fortwo even safer and in sum more grown up whilst retaining its length of 2.69 metres," adds Markus Riedel, head of development at smart. "In doing so we even reduced the turning circle to 6.95 metres and thus set a new benchmark. The fortwo shares its architecture with the new forfour; both cars are tailor-made for the requirements of modern city traffic."
The brand appeals to the heart and mind in equal portion. An expressive design idiom and colouring embody pure joie de vivre. The compact proportions and clever details attest to 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. And both vehicles are fitted with rear engines, making them particularly agile in urban traffic.
"smart stands for FUN.ctional design, as the brand is defined by two poles – the heart and mind. The design idiom is clear and purist and therefore very progressive. The typical smart attributes are being carried into a new era: the typical silhouette with the ultra-short overhangs, the clear lines, forms and surfaces, the tridion cell and the updated, likeable smart face," says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "It is never easy to design the successor to a design icon – but it is all the more exciting."
Extreme agility and optimum use of space – more fun in the city
Short overhangs, minimal length, high steering angle. The new smart models have everything it takes to manoeuvre elegantly into any parking space - and around every corner, too. 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).

Smart Fortwo

The new models also come up trumps once again with regard to the maximum of space packed into minimal dimensions, as documented by the excellent body space index. Additional highlights include the rear doors opening by almost 90° on the smart forfour and the folding front passenger seat backrest which comes as standard for all variants.
Real Life Safety – safety features
The essential safety concept embodied so successfully by the preceding models has been retained. Like a nut, the soft interior is protected from harm by a rigid shell: the tridion cell. A high proportion of ultra-high strength hot-formed steels and maximum-strength multiphase steel is now used on the new smart. 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).
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 been evolved on the basis of the experience acquired with previous smart models and designed for markedly enhanced ride comfort.
New three-cylinder engines, dual clutch transmission – the drive system
Two state-of-the-art three-cylinder engines will be available for the new smart models at the market launch: the naturally aspirated engine generates 52 kW/71 hp from a capacity of 999 cc. The engine’s ample torque from an engine speed as low as 1000 rpm (maximum: 91 Nm at 2850 rpm) enables particularly economical driving in high gears, even in urban traffic. Top of the range is the turbo engine rated at 66 kW/90 hp. The 898 cc engine mobilises maximum torque of 135 Nm at 2500 rpm. The totally new turbocharger features an electronically controlled wastegate which enables increased engine dynamics in conjunction with a sustainable reduction in fuel consumption. Another distinguishing feature is the automatic start/stop system.
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 swirl control and variable adjustment of the inlet valves. Another defining trait of the all-aluminium three-cylinder engine is the square bore/stroke ratio. A few months after the market launch, a basic petrol engine rated at 45 kW/60 hp will extend the range.

Smart Fortwo

Both transmission variants are also new for smart: customers can choose between a five-speed manual transmission and the twinamic six-speed dual clutch transmission.
passion, prime and proxy – the new lines
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, instrument cluster with monochrome LCD display and trip computer 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 colour display and heated seats.
To tie in with the market launch of the new smart generation, the edition #1 will also be available for a limited period. This offers exclusive design features such as a tridion safety cell in lava orange combined with bodypanels/body in white on the fortwo and graphite grey on the forfour.
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 sound system, which produces an impressively full sound. It incorporates a 6-channel DSP amplifier (240 W) in the fortwo and an 8-channel DSP amplifier (320 W) on board the forfour. A total of eight (fortwo) or twelve (forfour) high-performance loudspeakers provide for outstanding listening pleasure.
smart cross connect is a revolutionary new app which is available to customers free of charge from smart for the smart fortwo and smart forfour. smart cross connect offers even more features while on the move and outside of the vehicle. smart parking is among the features which now offer a more user-friendly design and incorporate new functions.
FUN.ctional – the 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. A change to the previous one-box proportions became necessary for two reasons: The higher bonnet lends the smart a more grown-up and sportier character.

Smart Fortwo

The smart sports 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 features in the middle of the doors, underscores the brand image. This is followed 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.

Smart Fortwo

A new feature on both models is the pronounced shoulderline. This provides both variants with a firm look on the road and establishes a visual separation between vehicle body and greenhouse.
The twin-section tailgate is close to smart drivers’ hearts. 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 emphasize 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 between bodypanels and tridion cell boost 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 – the 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 in front of the dashboard.
The dashboard and the door centre panels feature extensive fabric coverings in the three lines. 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.

Smart Fortwo

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 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.
Smallest turning circle of any car – the concept
Short overhangs, minimal length, high steering angle. The new smart models have everything it takes to manoeuvre elegantly into any parking space - and around every corner, too. 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).
The smart fortwo and smart forfour makes exceptional use of the available space. The smart engineers have developed the body space index (BSI) to describe how efficiently space is used. It 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) and 77 % (smart forfour).
The new smart forfour naturally offers even more 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.

Smart Fortwo

And on top of all this, reversible cushions are optionally available for the rear seats in the forfour. The "ready space" 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°.
Markedly more comfortable – the chassis
The new smart has essentially been configured for gently understeering handling characteristics. The different tyre sizes at front and rear have thus been retained, whereby the narrower front tyres in conjunction with a high outside wheel turn angle contribute to the unprecedentedly small turning circle. ABS, ASR and ESP® are ready to intervene at the critical limits of road-holding. A hill hold function and brake assist are integrated in the brake system.

Smart Fortwo

The engineers have designed a new McPherson suspension with a triple-path head bearing for the front axle. Each wheel is controlled by a wishbone under the wheel centre, the McPherson strut and a tie rod. Comfort and guide bearings for the wishbones provide for added comfort, along with the markedly increased overall spring travel. During the compression phase in particular, the new smart runs markedly more smoothly over uneven surfaces than previously.
The new smart models also feature a sophisticated De-Dion rear axle, which has been modified for substantially greater comfort. New elements are the twin-tube shock absorbers and separate barrel-shaped helical springs. Two elastomer shims provide for effective noise decoupling of the helical springs between body and rear axle.
The Sports suspension package is optionally available to those seeking sportier handling from their smart. The springs are firmer here and the vehicle is ten millimetres lower.
As standard, the new smart models come with mechanical rack-and-pinion steering. The Direct-Steer system with variable ratio and electric power assistance provides for considerably enhanced driving enjoyment, even better handling and increased efficiency.
Crosswind Assist as standard – active safety
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).
Every car driver will be familiar with risky situations when surprised by strong gusts of wind while overtaking trucks or on bridges. Standard-fit Crosswind Assist is able to defuse such dangerous situations by carrying out specific braking intervention when the vehicle threatens to drift off track. As a result, less countersteering effort is required of the driver. Crosswind Assist is active from 80 km/h when driving straight ahead and in gentle bends. The ESP® indicator lights up in the instrument cluster in response to noticeable intervention by Crosswind Assist.

Smart Fortwo

A brief lapse in concentration is all it takes for the driver to edge too close to the vehicle ahead – this is one of the main causes of serious traffic accidents. The forward collision warning (option) helps to defuse such dangerous situations. It can prevent rear-end collisions when the driver approaches the end of a traffic jam, for example. The system can also prompt the driver to take action in dangerous traffic situations in the city, thereby helping to avoid accidents. The distance to the vehicle ahead and the closing speed are monitored continuously by mid-range radar.
The driver is warned in two stages: when a vehicle ahead is detected, a warning lamp first of all lights up in the instrument cluster, if the distance is not within the safe range (stage 1). If the closeness to the vehicle ahead becomes critical, giving rise to a danger of collision, a warning tone additionally sounds (stage 2). The driver is thus urged to take action in the
form of emergency braking or a specific evasive manoeuvre to avoid a rear-end collision. The combined visual and audible warning is initiated in case of moving or stationary vehicles in the speed range from 7 km/h to top speed. Stationary vehicles are detected when the driver is travelling at a speed from 7 to 90 km/h.
Vehicles veering off the road or collisions with oncoming traffic are among the most common and most severe types of accident. Lane Keeping Assist (option) helps to avoid such crashes. A video camera scans road markings and detects differences in contrast between the road surface and boundary lines in real time. A control unit processes the data from the camera and the driver’s activities. The system is able to recognise whether the driver intends to leave the lane by checking whether an indicator has been activated, for example. If a danger is detected, an audible warning tone is output and a visual warning is displayed in the form of a symbol in the instrument cluster.
Comprehensive occupant protection – passive safety
The bodyshell of the new model series and the tridion safety cell have undergone further development to adapt them to the more stringent safety requirements in the crash test and to the new smart forfour. A high proportion of ultra-high strength hot-formed steels and maximum-strength multiphase steel is now used. These are used in the sidewall and in particular in the substructure.
In order to assure the structures of a high level of deformation and energy absorption capacity in frontal collisions, the new smart generation has been provided with the largest possible crumple zones and attention has been devoted to ensuring an effective flow of the accruing forces. In a severe frontal collision, the rear structure also helps to absorb the energy acting on the vehicle, for example. The forces are channelled into the extremely robust passenger cell, which is designed as a safety cage. Particularly extensive work went into adapting the new front axle carrier to crash requirements.
The highly robust tridion passenger cell is able to prevent major deformation even in very severe collisions, thus helping to protect the occupants’ space. The fuel tank is located safely outside the deformation zone in front of the rear axle.

Smart Fortwo

The Mercedes-Benz safety engineers were involved in the cooperation project with Renault throughout all phases of the development process and were able to contribute their amassed know-how. In the area of computer simulation, for example, where it was possible to calculate in detail the behaviour of individual weld spots or the newly introduced bonding methods, such as MIG soldering.
The number of assessed collision cases far exceeded the mandatory scope, both in the simulations and in real crash testing. The new smart fortwo underwent the same development programme as the new Mercedes-Benz
C-Class, for example. As it has been evolved for the global market, the number of crash tests was four times what is required for vehicles designed primarily for the European market.
In keeping with the Mercedes-Benz "Real Life Safety" philosophy, the focus in car-to-car tests was on compatibility with substantially larger and heavier vehicles. The new smart fortwo was required to demonstrate its capabilities in frontal collisions with the S- and C-Class.
The way in which all components (body, seat belts, airbags and sensor system) interact is crucial to effective protection. The forward displacement space for the occupants is to be sufficient to provide them with an adequate deceleration distance to minimise accident-induced physical stress in the event of a collision.
Driver and front passenger are each provided with a 3-point seat belt with belt force limiter and pyrotechnic belt tensioner as standard. The rear seats in the smart forfour each have a three-point seat belt with pyrotechnic belt tensioner and belt force limiter – features which other manufacturers do not necessarily provide as standard, even in higher classes of vehicle. A rear belt status indicator in the overhead control panel comes as standard.
The ISOFIX fastening system with TopTether attachment features as standard on the passenger seat of the fortwo and the rear seats of the forfour, providing a simple means of attaching child seats rigidly to the vehicle. The child seats themselves come from the Mercedes-Benz range.
The headrests for driver and front passenger are integrated in the backrests. They reduce the risk of injuries to the cervical vertebrae in a rear-end collision.
The smart models come with driver airbag, driver kneebag and front passenger airbag as standard. The kneebag has a positive influence on occupant kinematics in a frontal collision, thus offering the driver additional protection in many frontal collision scenarios. The principle of the telescoping steering column has been adopted 1:1 from the Mercedes-Benz range.

Smart Fortwo

The standard-fit sidebags (head-thorax bags) are accommodated in the driver and front passenger seat backrests and provide side cover for the respective occupants’ head and chest. The sidebags incorporate two chambers to enable due adaptation to different sizes of head / upper body. When inflated in side-on collisions they are able to lower the degree of stress to which the chest area is exposed and reduce the risk of the head colliding directly with the side window or other objects likely to cause injuries, such as a pylon, a tree or parts of a colliding vehicle. The occupants’ pelvic areas are additionally protected by deformation elements installed at appropriate points in the door panels.
Production – Hambach plant remains a role model
Highly efficient assembly and logistics operations and suppliers based directly on site at the plant as system partners: since it was opened in October 1997 the smart plant in Hambach, Lorraine, has stood for the success story of an innovative, particularly lean production concept which continues to set new standards in its area of the automobile industry. With investments in the order of 200 million euros for production of the new generation of the two-seater, the plant has brought its original production concept into line with the state of the art while further increasing the flexibility of production operations. The innovative, lean production concept at ’smartville’ is based on smart assuming overarching control of the plant and responsibility for the end product, while at the same time drawing on the expertise of specialised suppliers and service companies for numerous areas of production.
There is close contact between the smart plant in Hambach and the Renault production plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, where the new smart forfour rolls off the production line as part of the cooperation agreement between smart and Renault. The involvement of the production and quality experts from the Hambach plant ensures that all vehicles of the new smart generation meet the smart quality standards in full, irrespective of where they are produced.
The success story – an idea wins through
1998 saw the launch of an excitingly different car – the smart city coupé, which has since long become known as the smart fortwo. Measuring little more than two and a half metres in length, the uncompromising two-seater fitted crossways into parking spaces and established a new class of its own. Idea and brand successfully established worldwide.
With its uniquely short design, the smart is simply unbeatable for city driving – much to the delight of smart drivers in ever more cities all over the world. Following the smart fortwo’s initial launch in Germany and eight other European countries, it is now available in 46 countries across the globe.
It has always been part of the smart concept to offer customers numerous additional services in the area of individual mobility. Back in an early phase of the brand’s history, for example, the smartmove programme enabled drivers to hire a larger car on favourable terms, to reserve special parking spaces and to avail themselves of a car sharing programme – services which have since undergone further development and which remain closely linked to smart today as "smart add-on" or "car2go".
smart is also a pioneer of the local emission-free electric drive: 2012 saw the launch of the third-generation smart fortwo electric drive. With the new models, smart customers can enjoy even more fun at the wheel of an attractively priced vehicle that has the familiar compact dimensions, be it in coupé or cabrio style. With its 55 kW electric motor the smart fortwo electric drive accelerates from 0 - 60 km/h in 4.8 seconds, and with a maximum speed of 125 km/h driving pleasure is also guaranteed on urban motorways. The
17.6 kWh battery enables the urban two-seater to travel approximately 145 kilometres in city traffic without producing any local emissions. The new sale&care model makes opting into electric mobility particularly attractive: it offers customers an opportunity to buy, finance or lease the vehicle at an attractive price and to rent the battery for a monthly fee.

Smart Fortwo

2012 also witnessed the introduction of the first smart with just two wheels: the smart ebike features an unconventional design in line with the style of the brand, functions appropriate for city use and high technology standards which are reflected by an extremely efficient high-performance drive package among other merits.
Total sales for the smart fortwo well in excess of 1.5 million show how successfully smart has turned the idea for this unique city car into reality. Annual sales also remained stable around the 100,000 mark in the final years of the model lifecycle. In 2013 the smart electric drive war was the market leader in Germany and ranked 3rd in Europe and 5th worldwide in the registration statistics for electric cars. At the beginning of 2014 the smart fortwo won the title of "Microcar of the Year" for the fifth time in succession in China. Today, five years after the market launch, China is the third most successful market for smart, after Germany and Italy.


What is your take?

Back to top