Reborn Smart Fortwo ‘crucial’ to brand’s future

2 weeks, 5 days ago - 30 April 2024, autocar
Smart Fortwo Cabrio 2016
Smart Fortwo Cabrio 2016
Tiny city car remains part of the "ID of the brand" despite shift to crossovers and SUVs

Smart has begun design work on a new version of the Fortwo city car – with design chief Gorden Wagener saying it is "crucial" to the brand's image.

During that interview with Wagener, the brand confirmed that development of a new Fortwo has begun under the codename Project Two and indicated that the #2 name had been reserved for the production car.

“It is a crucial part of the brand, for the ID of the brand,” said Wagener, amid the expansion of Smart’s SUV line-up with the new #5.

Engineers at Smart – a 50:50 Mercedes-Benz and Geely joint venture – are currently working on finding or creating  a suitable platform for the #2. Recent reports suggest that Geely is actively seeking to collaborate with other firms to justify the business case for a revived Fortwo.

Smart CEO Dirk Adelmann was quoted by Automotive News Europe as saying: “Two months ago, we began working on a new, dedicated platform to underpin a future Smart two-seat city car, but we need partners to make its business case feasible.”

Mercedes design boss Wagener stressed the challenge of building the car profitably, telling Autocar: “It is not good for the business model. This is why it was discontinued after three generations, but it was always in the hearts of Smart fans.”

Notably, the previous-generation Fortwo (and the larger Forfour), axed in 2023, shared its platform with the outgoing Renault Twingo.

Wagener added that the #2 would remain a similar proposition to its predecessors in terms of styling. “The stronger the brand is, the more you can play with it,” he said. “At Smart, we have that freedom.”

He also hinted that the brand’s remit could expand far beyond city cars and SUVs, saying: “We’ve got this new SUV, so what else is left? A sports car, a two-seater, a limousine? We will have to see."

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