Published on April 19th, 2010 | by Christopher DeMorro
Next Generation Smart Cars Will Get Diesel, Hybrid, Electric Versions
I’m not a huge fan of Daimler’s ‘other’ brand. Smart cars just look so… small and awkward. But, before you hate on me, I do realize that they are relatively affordable, sip fuel, and remarkably safe for their size. Just… they’re not for me. Seems a boatload of other people agree as Smart sales have been plunging off a cliff lately for who-knows-what reason.
Daimler, who owns Smart, has big plans for the small brand of cars though, and those plans include a strategic alliance with Renault-Nissan. Apparently they’ll be resurrecting the four-person ForFour model (they really need better names) and adding diesel, hybrid, and fully electric drive systems to their vehicles. Smart 2.0 sounds like it might have a chance.
One of the complaint’s I’ve read about from many car reviewers is that the Smart ForTwo should get better gas mileage for its size. I don’t think a combined mileage of 36 mpg (for the coupe) is all that bad. My only real gripe with the Smart is the looks. They’re so uninspired, but that is just my opinion. I might be able to overlook the aesthetics, however, if Daimler carries through with their plans.
Daimler and Renault-Nissan recently announced an alliance that includes a lot of technology sharing. Some of that technology will make its way into an eventual ForTwo replacement, which will come in 2012 and be a modular design. This new Smart will underpin a new Renault city car as well. The new ForFour four door Smart will come later on down the road. But the big news is that Daimler and the Renault-Nissan alliance will start swapping engines. Daimler will likely get access to the electric technology that powers the Nissan LEAF and Renault’s new lineup of EVs, while Renault-Nissan will be able to put some of the Daimler diesel engines into their vehicles. There is also word that a hybrid Smart might be in the works too.
Imagine a Smart ForTwo with 200 ft-lbs of torque? Sounds tasty… and efficient!
Source: AutoCar | Image: Smart