Smart Introduces Bold New Lineup For 2014
The Smart ForTwo is a popular little two seater in urban centers around the world. However, the compact car hasn’t really caught on in the US. Sure, it’s known for excellent gas mileage, but even the diehard environmentalists have a hard time shelling out $15K-plus for a car has little more capacity than a motorcycle. In addition, the two-person seating capacity means the customer base is limited to young singles and empty nesters who don’t need a backseat. The car has done well in Europe and other places where smaller cars are the norm. That said, Smart GmbH has long set its sights on North America, where potential revenue is limitless. In order to do this, Smart is betting American consumers want more than just the ForTwo. Along with the expected redesign of the flagship ForTwo, there will be a few new models introduced. A four-door version of the ForTwo, appropriately named the Smart ForFour, will hit dealer lots around 2014-2015. Smart will be collaborating with Renault on this project. The three-cylinder turbo powerplants will be sourced from the French automaker, as well as numerous other drivetrain and chassis components.
There will also be a new Smart off-road SUV. It will use a lot of parts from the Renault-Nissan alliance. The most likely scenario is that the Smart SUV will be heavily based on the 2nd generation of the Nissan Juke. A concept called the Smart ForStars was released at the Paris Auto Show in September of 2012, which shows many styling cues that will be on the new Smart SUV, as well as the ForTwo and ForFour cars.
Given the recent popularity of small cars in America, it is safe to say Daimler is making a canny bet in expanding the Smart lineup. Hip small cars are the way of the future, and Smart’s bold styling will definitely cater to buyers in North America and elsewhere.