Smart has put the ForTwo under the knife in an attempt to give the maligned A-segment vehicle a few more years of life. The ForTwo now wears a smarter-looking revised fascia with a bolder Smart emblem, more expansive grille and redesigned lower valance. The front clip is paired with more defined rockers and a similarly restyled rear valance. Throw in a few more wheel options and the package helps freshen the vehicle quite a bit. Unfortunately, engineers left the engine bay alone. That means buyers will still be met with the same abysmal engine lineup and automated manual transmission found in the current vehicle.

Smart plans to continue to offer five option packages, including Brabus and Brabus Xclusive. The refreshed ForTwo will land in dealers in the UK in April, with U.S. sales commencing shortly thereafter as a 2013 model.

Word has it the next-generation ForTwo won't see the light of day for another two years at least. Will the 2013 nip/tuck draw enough buyers into show rooms to keep Smart afloat until then? We imagine it won't hurt, but the company is facing increased competition from big players like Scion and Chevrolet, and its sales numbers are terrible to begin with. Vehicles like the the more efficient iQ and the Spark probably won't help the ForTwo's chances. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Show full PR text
SMART FORTWO 2012: THE NEW LOOK

Facelift focusing on the exterior

Stuttgart. The spring of 2012 will see the smart fortwo making its mark in a striking new look, featuring an upgraded exterior and a fresh leather/fabric mix in the interior.

The substantially revamped smart fortwo sports a markedly more dynamic appearance, featuring a larger radiator grille with integrated logo, striking front aprons in a new design, horizontally arranged LED daytime driving lights, muscular side skirts and modified rear aprons. "The way in which the fortwo now displays the smart logo more prominently stands for the brand's new self-confidence," notes smart boss Dr Annette Winkler." The smart fortwo has long become an icon that is a defining feature of urban traffic throughout the world."

The chrome-coloured logo is now positioned directly in the black radiator grille. The air inlets under the number plate have been combined into a single unit, lending the smart fortwo a bolder appearance. The new, optionally available LED daytime driving lights are now arranged horizontally. There is also a choice of three new alloy wheels: the smart fortwo passion comes with a new 9-spoke alloy wheel; two additional alloy wheels fitted with wide tyres and featuring a 3-spoke and 3-twin-spoke design respectively round off the range. The choice of colours comprises seven options, including matt anthracite for the first time. The smart fortwo BRABUS Xclusive is now also optionally available in white. In addition to the three soft top colours for the smart cabrio which were previously available from the smart programme (black, red, blue), the smart BRABUS tailor made programme offers six other soft top colours.

While the main focus of this facelift is on the exterior, there are changes inside the car, too. These include a new, high-quality interior package in crystal grey, comprising a fresh leather/fabric combination for the seats, an imitation leather/fabric mix for the door trims and black imitation leather for the instrument panel in combination with a grey knee pad.

The pulse and passion equipment lines are generally more colourful options than the basic pure model. pulse and passion highlight the frame of the front grille and the rear trim strip in silver, for example, while the front spoiler, side skirts and rear apron are painted in the car's exterior colour. The door mirror caps are finished in the tridion colour. On the smart pure, these components are black.

The five lines – pure, pulse, passion, BRABUS and BRABUS Xclusive – are to be retained. Similarly, the smart fortwo will continue to be available as a coupé and cabrio version and with six engine and motor variants. The spectrum ranges from the particularly environment-friendly electric power train in the fortwo electric drive and the efficient micro hybrid petrol engine through the powerful turbo petrol engine to the fuel-efficient cdi turbodiesel. Prices begin at € 10,275 for the smart fortwo 45 kW mhd pure.

Here is an overview of the engine range:
Model type cc Output W/hp Maximum Torque l/10 km CO2 g/km 0-100 km/h (s) Top speed km/h
smart fortwo 40 kW cdi 799 40/54 130 Nm 3.3 (3.3) 86 (87) 16.8 135
smart fortwo 45 kW mhd* 999 45/61 89 Nm 4.2 (4.3) 97 (98) 16.8 145
smart fortwo 52 kW mhd 999 52/71 92 Nm 4.2 (4.3) 97 (98) 13.7 145
smart fortwo 62 kW 999 62/84 120 Nm 4.9 (4.9) 114 (115) 10.7 145
smart fortwo 75 kW
BRABUS 999 75/102 147 Nm 5.2 119 8.9 155
smart fortwo electric drive - 35 kW constant
55 kW peak 130 Nm - - < 13 > 120

Combined fuel consumption and CO2 values with softip gearshift, values for softouch shown in brackets, top speed electronically limited; * coupé, ** "sale&care" model plus a gross monthly leasing rate of under 70 euros for the battery

The new model generation for 2012 represents the continuation of a unique success story for smart: as a trendsetter the smart fortwo has been redefining individual urban mobility for more than ten years now. It combines responsibility to the environment and high ecological standards with joie de vivre and a high fun factor. With its compact dimensions the two-seater takes up less road and parking space than any other car around.

More than 1.3 million smart fortwos have been delivered to customers since the first model was launched in 1998. 101,996 smart fortwos were handed over to customers worldwide in 2011 – 4.6 percent more than in the previous year.

The car2go mobility service is also attracting growing numbers of fans. Over 2000 smart fortwos are currently in operation for 60,000 customers in seven cities around the globe. car2go is already successfully up and running in Ulm and Hamburg (Germany), Austin and San Diego (USA), Vancouver (Canada), Vienna (Austria) and Amsterdam (Netherlands). car2go will be launching in Lyon (France), Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Washington D.C. and other cities in 2012.

The facelifted smart fortwo will be available in the UK in April 2012


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  • 50 Comments
      CarCrazy24
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car had huge problems from the beginning. 1. The mileage is lousy (anything under 40mpg for something this small is horrible). In Europe they offer a diesel which gives the mileage it deserves. 2. The car needs to be a little cheaper, it's the same price as a Versa or a Fiesta, which is too much for a two seater. 3. The transmission is utterly useless...there's seemingly no way of making it shift smoothly. And it's so slow that it needs to be floored to keep up with traffic (which destroys the mpg even further). I think if they can put a modern diesel in this (even a diesel hybrid would be clever) or a modern gas engine and the option of a proper manual or automatic, this would help this car infinitely. But maybe more than anything else, Smart needs to make a second or third model for their line-up that brings more customers in (a sedan or small crossover would be a great start). If they make Smart into the Scion of Mercedes Benz's line-up, then I think there's a chance to salvage the brand yet.
      airmac068
      • 2 Years Ago
      Smart car is my daily driver. Use it around san francisco and it's great for parking, only car small enough to fit between those infamous half parking spots between drive ways. Also great for carpooling since it's 3+ around the bay area unless you have something with two seats. Also pretty handy for running errands since you don't have to care about it (plastic panels can be replaced). All those attributes make it a good car, despite the choppy transmission, and so-so gas mileage (38mpg average). Just don't make it your only car. Have a fun car for weekends (911) and larger car for everything else (wrx wagon). And then the smart car makes sense. Though out of three cars, the smart car gets the most use. In fact, drove it kansas city from san francisco and back and it wasn't bad, just slow though i could get it to 100 on downhills.
      TL
      • 2 Years Ago
      As a driver of a 2009 smart i feel like I can comment here. I love my car, I live in LA and it's awesome for parking including in my tiny garage, mileage is pretty good and the design is still fresh for me. I'm not going to bash the car ("but u can get a used hyundai for the same price with more seats blah blah blah"...if you want to drive a used Hyundai, you don't get it), but I agree with some of the comments here. For gods sake MB, a better tranny would do WONDERS for this car! I'm sure it's more complicated than I can even imagine as I'm not an engineer, though man, that one thing...would change everything. I'm still lovin' it...but that fiat 500 is sure lookin' good.
      onewayroll
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ever been over-taken by a Smart? I have..kinda funny and kinda sad at the same time. My 15 year old boy just looked at me and said " Dad, really?" lol.
        schattig84
        • 2 Years Ago
        @onewayroll
        haven't been passed by a smart, but i was passed by i think a toyota aygo while i was in my jeep during a snow storm. It was ok though, I passed him again shortly after
          onewayroll
          • 2 Years Ago
          @schattig84
          lol...ya, i had to pass him back too...i would have never heard the end of it.
      Lachmund
      • 2 Years Ago
      sales numbers are terrible only in the u.s.
        Lachmund
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lachmund
        and most of the world loves it as well...even driving it. i did! i think the main problem is the american ego when driving this car in the states ;)
          Lachmund
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Lachmund
          still it drives quite a bit faster than you are allowed to, is totally safe and has enough room for 2. it also is quite fast on the red lights in the city and perfect for searching a parking space. don't tell me all of the sudden mpg is the main interest of americans lol
          Drew
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Lachmund
          It has nothing to do with ego and everything to do with under performance. You'd expect a car of this size to destroy anything else on the market in MPG, when in fact, it's only marginally better than C segment sedans.
      JS
      • 2 Years Ago
      Saw a Scion iQ yesterday. I don't know how it drives, but IMO it's better looking than the Smart.
      space
      • 2 Years Ago
      Does it include a more powerful engine and a decent price drop? Otherwise I'm still not interested.
      Shiftright
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is MB determined to let the Smart die? Jesus, put in a couple of good transmission choices already: a real manual and a full auto! A turbodiesel would be great too...Duh...
        Ruediger
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        I agree with you altough the transmission is decent, it could be improved. If we can send people on the moon-- we can make better trannies. As for a turbodiesel...this is something which is a mystery to me too. I think it's American politics with exhaust pollution issues. If they have these cars currently in other parts of the world,why can't we have them here too. I don't think they are dying faster over there. I firmly believe the smart won't die, because now that Mercedes took over Penske and they will use this car to up their CAFE requirements.
          Gubbins
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ruediger
          Completely agree on TDi engines...we need more of them. I can't understand the weak (although improving) acceptance of Diesel engines in the N.A. market.
      Jake
      • 2 Years Ago
      "with U.S. sales commencing shortly thereafter " Or, so they hope.
      ken
      • 2 Years Ago
      Smart will be a lot better if Mercedes can be bother to add a new proper manual gearbox.
      aatbloke1967
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've always been a fan of the ForTwo ever since its inception in the late 90s. The transmission can be infuriating at times until you get used to it. Great for bombing around town in, and parking becomes an absolute doddle.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @aatbloke1967
        I couldn't agree more.
        Jake
        • 2 Years Ago
        @aatbloke1967
        I might agree if I knew what a doddle is. And what the difference is between a standard doddle and an absolute one.
      chest rockwell
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of the 100 or so cars I've rented in my life on business trips, this was the absolute worst. On the positive side, I found it to be fairly comfortable and spacious for a 6-footer to drive - more so than I would have thought given the overall dimensions. The negative: it had, by far, the worst transmission I've ever encountered - it almost made me sick on every gear change. The other biggest complaint was that it was like being on ice once you hit highway speeds. I've driven several other small vehicles and never wondered, "who the hell would test drive this car and actually buy it?!?!". There are plenty of other cars in this segment that prove better value and driving experience. I could see if the ForTwo undercut the competion on price or significant gains in fuel economy, but it's not a cheap car that only gets mediocre mileage. You simply give up too much for a cute, novelty car.
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