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Smart’s tiny Fortwo is back in the spotlight with the unveiling of its new Cabrio sibling today, ahead of a Frankfurt motor show premiere.

In its new 2016 form, the Fortwo Cabrio features a unique ‘tritop’ folding roof that can be simply pushed backwards for use as a sunroof, or folded right down to the tailgate – with the roof rails then detached for stowage in the boot – for a proper convertible experience.

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Smart, which is owned by Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, says the Fortwo Cabrio’s automatic roof can be fully opened in just 12 seconds, regardless of travel speed. Handily, the roof can also be opened from outside, via a button on the key fob.

The Fortwo Cabrio also benefits from the usual assortment of strengthening tricks to make up for the absence of a hardtop roof, including reinforced A-pillars, a special steel cross bar, and stronger bulkheads at both ends. All of this adds up to a 15 percent improvement in stiffness over its predecessor.

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As with the regular Fortwo, the Cabrio will be offered with a pair of three-cylinder petrol engines, in the form of a naturally-aspirated 52kW/91Nm 1.0-litre unit and a turbocharged 66kW/135Nm 0.9-litre option.

The Cabrio’s online reveal follows last year’s debut of the hardtop Fortwo and the larger Forfour. And, as with those two, this new topless model is not expected to come to Australia anytime soon, thanks to a largely unworkable business case.

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