Last week, Daimler revealed the 2016 Smart ForTwo and ForFour, which have undergone a radical transformation that Daimler hopes will lift the brand profile, as well offer something sportier options that add some edge to the microcars.
That raised hopes that the long-lusted-after Smart Roadster might make a comeback. But according to WhatCar?, Smart CEO Annette Winkler says there will be no new Smart Roadster. That’s a real shame, as the original Roadster featured some of the most exciting styling seen on a small car in the last decade.
I spent a day hustling a Smart Roadster through the rolling hills of Tuscany a few years ago thanks to my friend Francesco. The car turned heads everywhere we went, and basking in the Tuscan sun with the top removed was pure joy. Sadly, the car underneath the skin was pretty dreadful.
The engine was woeful, and the gear changes took several seconds to complete, leading to a lackluster driving experience. The clunky mechanicals ruined the potential for driving fun, though the new Smart drivetrain lineup could change it. Smart customers will have their choice of three engine output options, up to 90 horsepower, and a sportier suspension system as well. If those same options were applied to the Smart Roadster, it would be a much better car.
If Mercedes has fixed those issues with the new car, a Roadster version would be a hoot to drive, and might even give the new Miata a run for its money. Maybe the Smart CEO is not that smart after all?