The all-new Smart Fortwo city car is running around 12 months behind schedule and, according to a Mercedes-Benz source, should have already been on sale.
The crucial new model for Daimler’s underperforming micro-car brand, which is being jointly developed with Renault-Nissan and was previewed by the Smart Forstars concept (above) at the 2012 Paris motor show, is likely to debut at the 2013 Geneva motor show in March, although this may stretch out to Frankfurt in September.
A revived, all-new Smart Forfour hatchback was scheduled for a 2013 release, but if the Fortwo isn’t ready for a Geneva show debut, the Forfour probably won’t see daylight until 2014.
The current Fortwo (above) was unveiled in late 2006 and is now well past its use-by date. It’s also well into its ‘special-edition’ twilight phase – as demonstrated by the Fortwo ‘Edition Iceshine’ shown at Paris, designed to maintain interest in the ageing micro-car.
According to our source from Mercedes-Benz, the third-generation Fortwo will be around five per cent larger than the current car, meaning it will maintain its ultra-compact proportions.
The upcoming Smart Forfour will be similar in size to the front-drive original that launched in 2004 (below) and shared its mechanicals with the Mitsubishi Colt.
Like the Fortwo, however, the new Forfour will be a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive design and is said to share much of its mechanical DNA with the new-generation Renault Twingo.
Smart made a splash at Paris with the vibrant and charismatic Forstars concept – a two-seat, glass-topped ‘sports utility coupe’ with a sizeable luggage area and smartphone synchronisation.
The concept is believed to preview many of the design cues of the new Fortwo.