Trying to give buyers more chances to get into a Smart, the company produced a four-seat hatch called the ForFour in 2004. It sold so poorly that the car was axed after just two years. In spite of that, Autocar says that parent Mercedes-Benz has filed patent papers for an embiggened Smart.

This time, it's the Smart ForThree, with a 1+2 seating arrangement a la the McLaren F1. Unlike the F1, though, the Smart's center-positioned driver's seat would be completely forward of the rear seats. That way, it could rotate or be mounted on lateral sliders to make it easier for the driver to get in.

Engines aren't mentioned, but Mercedes does have a line of modular three-cylinder engines as well as a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that are being prepped for small car use. Sources report that the car could be in showrooms by 2014.

[Source: Autocar]