• Feb 22nd 2010 at 4:56PM
  • 6
2009 Smart Fortwo Click above for high-res image gallery

The Daimler brain trust of Dieter Zetsche and Thomas Weber has reportedly struck a deal with Renault/Nissan to develop its next generation of minicars due out in 2014 or so. As you would expect, Daimler will get a new Smart Fortwo out of the deal while the Franco-Japanese conglomerate will use the design for unknown future models that could bear both the Nissan and Renault nameplates.

According to Automobile Magazine, Daimler insisted on retaining the Smart brand's trademark rear-engine and rear-wheel drive configuration, which was somewhat understandably met with some trepidation by Renault. Also held over, probably, will be the steel safety cage design with interchangeable plastic body panels, so the resulting vehicles will be safe and easily distinguishable from each other.

Not surprisingly, electric powertrains will be part of the mix, along with a newly developed 1.0-liter direct injected three-cylinder engine and a duo of 1.3- and 1.5-liter fours. The modular chassis may also be lengthened in order to spawn a new four-seat Forfour and a taller Formore micro-minivan with sliding doors.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      If my information is correct, they will be building them in Revoz, Novo Mesto, Slovenia.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh come on.. you know the fourfour sold horribly..

      1.0 DI engine should be pretty sweet.. hats off!
      Same with a 1.5... you'd think that would make the car pretty damn quick!
      Hopefully they get the transmission right.

      IMO, 2014 is too far away..
        • 5 Years Ago
        The forfour sold horribly because it was built on a Mitsubishi Colt platform, not on a stretched fortwo platform. The car was no different than any other B segment car. I think Daimler is smart to work with Renault. They need a company that has expertise in small cars. they also need to improve the driving experience and mileage of the next fortwo.
      • 5 Years Ago
      a 1.5 DI would be one helluava sweet motor in the little Smart car and would actually make me look at them. And hey I owned a 1.6l Geo Storm and so I know what a small car is all about but I could only imagine that it could be far better with more power plus the fun to drive factor takes over!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Please make something that doesn't have the crap aerodynamics that the Smart car has.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Any speculation what this might mean for Tesla, who is currently supplying battery packs for 1000 Smarts but would like to be providing full powertrains?
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