• Feb 10, 2011
2011 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive – Click above for high-res image gallery

Smart has delivered its first ForTwo Electric Drive and the 2011 ForTwo is equipped with a suite of first-time features such as cruise control, navigation and eight airbags. But no matter the advances heaped upon the brand's sole ambasador now, the question many have is: does it have a future?

"There is a commitment to the Smart brand by Smart USA and Daimler's also committed," Rick Bourgoise, Smart's Director of Communications, tells Autoblog. "There are two paths to product expansion: the Daimler alliance with Nissan-Renault to provide a small car platform as part of the next Smart ForTwo as well as a four-seat model to arrive mid-decade." That car could be, or at least have something to do with, the scale model four-door ForTwo+2 spied recently in Europe. That car is being engineered by Mercedes-Benz and built by Daimler.

"That was good in the near term," said Bourgoise, "but we needed additional product in the short term." When he says "we," he's referring to Smart USA, which is Penske's distributorship operation that has the U.S. and Puerto Rico territories for Smart.

"Smart USA agreed with Nissan of the Americas to get a five-door, five-seat hatch that will arrive sometime in Q4 of 2011." That car refers to the Memorandum of Understanding that Smart signed with Nissan for a B-segment entrant last October. That means the car has officially been given the go-ahead. The platform is assumed to be that of the Micra, since it's "a global vehicle for Nissan that's not selling" here, and they're putting it together in one year. The design of that car is a collaboration between Smart and Nissan, but "it will be a Smart, will have Smart styling cues and stay true to those brand attributes," such as a tiny footprint and high efficiency and recyclability. Burgoise also confirmed "it will come in a standard manual and automatic transmissions." Bourgoise tells AB the unnamed car will be revealed sometime in late Q1 or Q2.



Photos copyright ©2011 Zach Bowman / AOL


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you have a head-on collision with a Chihuahua - the dog walks away and you need a new car.
      wlm970fre
      • 3 Years Ago
      That Is like an I Setta right
      • 3 Years Ago
      Smart roadster?
      • 3 Years Ago
      They should just go ahead and rename the brand "Stupid" and then people wouldn't be so disappointed when they got one.
      • 3 Years Ago
      They will sell by the dozens.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Smart = Dumb
      These little pieces of crap aren't worth a look.
      Overpriced, and they're not as fuel efficient as they should be for such little things.
      Only advantage is city parking. Otherwise, Smart is a dumb deathtrap.

        • 3 Years Ago
        Crash test data isn't that bad. However Smart is still not worth it. Why on earth would anyone want a vehicle that takes premium fuel, costs more and doesn't get the fuel economy of other larger economy vehicles? The diesel model made more sense but since the American launch it isn't available in Canada or the US.

        One of the biggest problems though was overlooking common requirements like cruise control and cup holders you can safely reach while driving. Then there is the whiplash automatic. This is one of the worst options out there.
      • 3 Years Ago
      While I disagree with the general perception they are death traps (they have decent safety and certainly much better than a lot of 10 year old cars), I think smart's timing window has gone. There are too many good options now in the small car market, and with the Fiat 500 in the US now, I really don't see why you'd pick a smart when you could a much more stylish car that does the same thing.
        • 3 Years Ago
        DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR, YOU NEED TO LOOK AT THE TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP VS THE MILES YOU PUT ON THE CAR IN IT'S LIFETIME. IF YOU DO THIS AND RUN 15K A YEAR THE CHEAPEST WAY TO GO IS BUY A HYUNDAI OR SUZUKI FOR 12K AND GET 35 MPG. FOR TEN YEARS. THEN JUST PARK IT ON THE STREET, AND PULL THE TAGS OFF. WALK AWAY..............
        • 3 Years Ago
        http://www.spike.com/video/crash-test-shows/3151924
        Would you let your daughter drive one?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unless they revise the drivetrain, the only future for these cars is working as a CARB / CAFE play for Mercedes-Benz.

      • 3 Years Ago
      Too little, too late.

      The Smart ED is an overpriced EV-1, destined for the crusher.

      The 4-seater is already beaten by the Fit, Yaris & Versa.
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about a Fiat 500, or an Abarth version. Real cars that are fun and affordable (well maybe not the Abarth).
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow!

      They finally made a golf cart with glass windows!
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Smart ForTwo is not an awful car on the basis of its size but because of the fact that its crap inside and out. People want small cars not necessarily because they NEED a small car but because it's nimble, easy to park and drive, I guess you could compare it to the purse of the automotive world. I checked out the Smart E-Cell at the NAIAS in Detroit and the interior was just about the saddest I've seen, and they wanted $44K for the thing! Get a Leaf and a bicycle if you want to make a statement, you'll lose some weight AND have zero tailpipe emissions. The Smart isn't 'cool' enough to play in its own field, it fails at the one thing it's supposed to be.
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