A prototype of the third-generation Smart Fortwo has been spied for the first time wearing its own body panels, giving our best look yet at the production car that's set to go on sale next year.

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Snapped by CarAdvice's spy photographers testing on public roads in Europe, the latest images follow previous test mule spy shots that showed the next-generation city car covered with a patchwork of various body panels.

Based on a shortened version of the platform that will underpin both the larger Smart Forfour and the all-new Renault Twingo – as part of a joint venture between Renault and Smart parent company Daimler – the spied Fortwo presents with a squared-off front end with a grooved bonnet and new headlights with LED daytime running lights.

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The Smart Fortwo is tipped for a Geneva motor show unveiling in March.

In September, Mercedes-Benz Australia senior manager corporate communications David McCarthy said the next-generation two-seater would lob locally for “quite a bit under” $20,000, and likely below the $18,990 driveaway run-out price of the current 52kW/92Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder model.

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