• Feb 23rd 2010 at 9:27AM
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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 will likely 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 Fourfour and a taller Formore micro-minivan with sliding doors.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a piece of crap. drive one and pay the premium to own and why would you not get a civic or corolla instead? This car is crap I drove one 60 miles and got brain damage, its short wheel base makes it completely unstable over 50 mph.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope they don't grow it again to turn it into some bloated obsese iQ - like monstrosity. The Smart should really go back to 2.5 m, and also, a key trump card in the city, stay narrow.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A word to Renault: DO NOT AND I REPEAT D-O N-O-T GIVE DAIMLER ANY M-O-N-E-Y!!!

      Black widow Benz is at it again
      • 5 Years Ago
      .... for even less reliable Smarts...
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Daimler already destroyed Chrysler, now they can get their clutches on Renault and ruin them too!
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Rear engine rear wheel drive iin a French car? Aren't they the kings of FWD?
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