Renault Twizzy ZE concept - click above for high-res image gallery
According to a report in UK magazine AutoCar, Mercedes-Benz and Renault are planning to collaborate on a new modular micro-car platform. The new architecture would form the basis of the next generation of Smart cars as well as the new Twizzy electric vehicle from Renault. Like the current Smart ForTwo, the new platform will be rear engine and rear wheel drive but it will be able to accomodate a stretched wheelbase for a new ForFour. The two seater would arrive in 2013 and the four seater a year later. The last ForFour was actually a completely different front wheel drive car based on a Mitsubishi platform. Mercedes is developing all new three cylinder gas and diesel engines for the next Smarts and could also supply those to Renault. The thoroughly unloved semi-automatic gearbox in today's ForTwo is expected to be supplanted by a new 7-speed dual clutch unit. Finally Mercedes will carry on with electric drive versions of the Smart but it is unknown if they will collaborate with Renault on electric systems.