The Smart Forfour will again share its innards with another car for its next generation, following the original Mitsubishi Colt-based 2004 model.
This time, however, the Smart Forfour will share its chassis with the next generation Renault Twingo. This Forfour mule is essentially a current generation Twingo with completely new parts underneath.
The decision to share platforms comes following an alliance between Renault/Nissan and Mercedes-Benz that will also result in the joint development of brand new turbocharged three-cylinder engines to power not only this Forfour, but also the Fortwo, Twingo, Clio, and A-Class. It isn’t yet clear whether the 0.9-litre turbocharged three-cylinder, which recently debuted in the Clio, will be the shared engine, although it is likely.
This Forfour mule is rear-wheel driven, indicating that the next Twingo may also drive from the rear wheels. It also increases the liklihood of Nissan introducing a Forfour/Twingo-based model off the same platform for both the Japanese domestic market and countries where Renault isn’t well known – such as Australia.
Although the Forfour mule is for chassis and powertrain development only, the Forstars concept car shown at the 2012 Paris motor show points to what the next generation Forfour will look like.
Expect an early 2015 on-sale date for the next Smart Forfour, following the launch of the next Fortwo next year.