What is a Smart car, exactly? For the past several years, the brand has drifted from one concept to another with little success in the American marketplace. First the brand brought out the slinky and stylish Roadster, then experimented with a four-door sedan, before toying with the truly weird Crossblade.
The market in Europe for small, entry level cars is fiercely competitive. Buyers can choose between the Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108 among others. To stay relevant in this important segment, Mercedes and Renault have developed a new chassis they will share.Renault uses this chassis for its new rear engine Twingo, which itself just broke cover. Meanwhile the 2016 Smart ForTwo and ForFour have remained under wraps, though this is the latest of many teasers dropped leading up to its debut.
The Smart brand has been weighed down by poor driving dynamics, an iffy shifter, and lack of room or brand image. Smart has had an especially difficult time in America, making little headway even as the small car market has grown considerably. This next model may very well be the last for the Smart brand if it can’t connect with customers. The 2016 Smart cars won’t be any bigger than the old generation, but with a renewed focus on the driving experience and quality materials, perhaps the brand can rebound.
With so many great options in the market right now , what else can Smart do to make it stand apart from the competition?