New Smart Car Arrives
Smart is making a comeback with a new range of Smart fortwo and Smart forfour models. The Smart cars traditionally combine small car platforms with impressive use of space for the perfect congested city car. The new Smart has new engines, improved safety and a rear-engined platform.
The Smart fortwo retains its tiny size of the previous model, measuring just 2.69M. The turning circle has been improved however as it can rotate a full circle in 6.95M. The forfour manages the same turn in 8.65M – still particularly good as most modern hatchbacks average around 10M turning circles.
There’s a new engine range for the Smart cars as they use both naturally aspirated three-cylinder and turbocharged three cylinder variants. The entry level naturally aspirated unit generates 52 kW from its 999 cc displacement and makes do with 91 Nm of torque. The turbo variant clocks up 66 kW with 135Nm from 898 cc. Smart also says there will be an even more entry level petrol engine coming with 45 kW that will extend the range lineup.
Chassis-wise the new Smart models use a rear engine design that has been co-developed with Renault and is being used in the Twingo. The Smart uses wider tyres at the rear to that of the front to produce ‘gentle understeer’. The engineers have designed a special McPherson suspension with increased travel that is said to increase ride comfort. The De-Dion rear axle has had much the same special treatment to improve ride comfort.
New Smart Car is Safe
The safety of the Smart fortwo and forfour has been a key focus of the new model. A high proportion of ultra-high strength hot-formed steels and maximum-strength multiphase steel is now used. Specifically the Smarts underwent severe crash testing undergoing the same development programme as the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The new smart fortwo was required to demonstrate its capabilities in frontal collisions with the S- and C-Class.