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.
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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