Mercedes-Benz developing three-seat Smart

Article by Christian A., on August 26, 2010

Mercedes-Benz is improving its lineup of dedicated city cars by developing a three-seat Smart rumored to be named the "Forthree." It is believed that Mercedes-Benz is fast-tracking the preparation in reaction to competition from Toyota's iQ as well as urban-based offerings from Audi and BMW.

Said to borrow heavily from McLaren's mould-breaking F1 supercar, the car is designed with the driver's seat centrally up front with a pair of passenger seats set further back on either side of the cabin -- an arrangement made possible by the retention of the rear-engined platform design used by the Smart Fortwo. The layout itself isn't new. It was intended as a replacement for the coupe and roadster pairing axed from Smart's line-up back in 2005, after a run of 43,091 cars.

The low-slung three-seater has been conceived as a sportier alternative to Smart's upright second-generation Fortwo, with accommodation for up to three, along with limited boot space at the rear.

Insiders are supposedly claiming that the car will arrive at showrooms by 2014. Mercedes incorporated several design innovations to resolve layout problems, such as the long stretch upon entering and exiting the cabin.

These changes include a swiveling seat base as well as a transverse runner within the floor that allows the driver's seat to be adjusted out towards the door. Autocar has obtained patent application sketches that reveal a complex seatbelt arrangement for the driver.

The three-seat interior is housed similar to Smart's existing Tridion steel safety cell, with sturdy longitudinal and transverse members aimed at providing controlled deformation and added crash protection.

No announcements have been made with regards to the car's mechanical package but it is well-known that Mercedes-Benz is already well advanced on a new line-up of modular three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines ranging in capacity from 800cc through to 1.4 liters.

Also being developed is a new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Both are planned to make an appearance in the third-generation A-class, due out in 2011, before making their way into other Mercedes-Benz models, including those from Smart.

Topics: mercedes-benz, smart

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

After the highly dynamic Polestar 1 two-door coupe – Polestar’s first ever production car -- was recently unveiled, not a few people’s curiosity was piqued as to how much they...
by - October 21, 2017
The BMW 7 Series is already highly sought after but nonetheless, the German marque is giving it a more exclusive variant for the Russian market, and they are calling it...
by - October 20, 2017
Several automakers including Porsche, Volkswagen, Smart and even Land Rover have all been victimized by cheap Chinese copycats. And if you haven’t seen it yet, the most recent one would...
by - October 20, 2017
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has been around for quite some time now but to bid it farewell, the company has launched the Mercedes-AMG G65 Final Edition. Mercedes will only build a...
by - October 20, 2017
Have you ever wondered what you can you buy with $9,365 in your pocket? Well, you have quite a lot of options. In fact, you can even purchase a used...
by - October 20, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries