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.
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