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Published on April 19th, 2010 | by Christopher DeMorro

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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


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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • http://hopetoprosper.com Bret

    I could never see owning a Smart ForTwo. They are too small, too impractical and too funky looking. I always have something or someone in my back seat. Plus, the short wheel base looks unstable and I wouldn’t want to be in a collision in one of these.

    But, the ForFour model looks nice. If they did have an affordable electric version, I would definitely be interested in buying one.

    • Jason Carpp

      I agree. The Smart ForTwo is fine for two occupants and a bag of groceries, and if you live in the city. But what if you want to carry two more people? You’re s.o.l. I’d love to see a four door, four passenger version, particularly with a diesel engine, I’d go for it.

  • http://hopetoprosper.com Bret

    I could never see owning a Smart ForTwo. They are too small, too impractical and too funky looking. I always have something or someone in my back seat. Plus, the short wheel base looks unstable and I wouldn’t want to be in a collision in one of these.

    But, the ForFour model looks nice. If they did have an affordable electric version, I would definitely be interested in buying one.

    • http://Web mike

      I own one – I am 6’2″. It hauls my girlfriends and I’s grocery needs for two weeks to and from the store quite nicely. It hauls my work materials 100 miles each way twice a week – two large school bags a file box and dress clothing – w/o effort. It is more stable than my friends Honda Oddesey when passing semis. You need to google Smart Crash test and watch the videos, then look up SUV rollover statistics to see how safe you are vs how safe I am.
      It is practical for its market – replacing “Airhaulers” that *usually* haul one person and a cup of coffee.
      It is Safe.
      $$ spent per mile owned, it is thriftier than my friends Mini, but doesn’t beat my ’95 Honda.
      ~the four-four concept may fit your and other markets, bigger appearing to be “stronger” – I hope so, but still, the US needs to get used to driving-what-we-use over driving-what-we-think-we-might-need-and-never-do…

  • Marc

    The Smart for 2 only gets 40 mpg while my 92 Civic VX gets 43 mpg and seats 4; why can’t they build them like they used to?

  • Marc

    The Smart for 2 only gets 40 mpg while my 92 Civic VX gets 43 mpg and seats 4; why can’t they build them like they used to?

  • Simon

    The smart fortwo gets 38 city and well over 40mpg highway.They build em better than they used to Marc.

  • Simon

    The smart fortwo gets 38 city and well over 40mpg highway.They build em better than they used to Marc.

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