Smart sales in the US had an impressive start in 2009 but since then, the company has struggled to keep itself afloat. The European microcar brand wants to turn its fortunes around by releasing a new-generation ForTwo and a new four-seat car – created by an alliance between parent company Daimler AG and Renault/Nissan. Smart also recently revealed its product plans.
The ForTwo will receive a mild freshening this fall. In 2013, it will be replaced by a vehicle designed with Renault that will also replace the Renault Twingo in Europe.
For the ForTwo Electric, Smart divulged plans for this electric car with a battery system designed by California electric-vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors to be offered for lease in eight US markets in October.
The 250 cars will have a five-year, $599 monthly lease. However, only 50 will be leased to individuals. The ForTwo Electric will be given an upgraded interior in 2012.
This car will switch to lithium ion batteries produced by Deutsche Accumotive GmbH, a joint venture between Daimler and Evonik Industries.
Meanwhile, Smart intends to revive the ForFour that had been terminated in 2006. It features a longer version of the new ForTwo platform as well as a rear-engine and rear-drive layout.
Renault will be building the new ForFour alongside its Twingo. It is expected to start selling in 2014. [via autonews - sub. required]