Smart’s third-generation ForTwo model is now in the final phase of a three-year test and development program. Smart is planning to unveil the third-generation ForTwo in 2014. The latest ForTwo hatchback represents a new chapter for Smart, which recently obtained greater independence from Daimler. Smart chief executive Annette Winkler is aiming to stop years of financial bleeding after almost a decade of rebuilding.
The third-generation ForTwo, known internally as project C453, is being developed in a joint engineering program with the second-generation ForFour and sister car third-generation Renault Twingo. All three models are based on a newly developed rear-engined/rear-wheel-drive platform structure. Its engineering is led by Smart with input from Renault.
The new platform structure, which is conceived to support different wheelbases and track widths, features more high-strength steel than that one employed in the second-generation ForTwo, providing more rigidity and improved safety.
Despite the collaboration between Smart and Renault to achieve greater economies of scale and share development costs, Winkler remains confident that the basic character and urban driving focus of the ForTwo is still intact.
She said that they were able to successfully build on the strengths of the old model, adding that the new ForTwo is “more mature in many respects but it still fun to drive." The new ForTwo now has a two-box profile – having a more defined hood and more upright windscreen – a change influenced by the latest pedestrian injury criteria applied to the European NCAP test procedure. [source: AutoWeek]