Here in America, the Smart ForTwo isn't exactly selling like hotcakes, mostly due to the fact that it isn't very practical or efficient, it can carry an awfully high price point and the engine and transmission are, well, less than stellar. Still, Smart is hoping that a host of upgrades to the diminutive ForTwo will make it a more attractive to potential buyers seeking a sort of trendy urban-mobile, and the automaker will be adding things like new paint colors, better interior refinement and slight styling tweaks to the car in the Fall of this year.
In addition to the six metallic exterior colors, the ForTwo is now available in a cheeky matte light green, and convertible models can now be fitted with a red or blue soft top. Additionally, a slight nip/tuck has been given to the front fascia, which now includes optional LED daytime running lights in the lower air intakes. Inside, the instrument panel has been redesigned and a new touchscreen infotainment system is on hand, encompassing navigation, audio and Bluetooth connectivity controls. What's more, a limited edition "Lightshine" model will be on hand, which adds things like body-colored headlamp surrounds, new 15-inch wheels and contrasting matte chrome components.
Not much has changed in the area of engines or transmissions, but Smart has found a way to lower the overall CO2 emissions of each powerplant. Even the most powerful engine remains under the 120 g/km mark, and the smallest diesel offering (not available in America) produces just 86 g/km of CO2. Fuel efficiency might not exactly be the Smart's forte, but in terms of cleaner emissions, it's seriously good.
Still, though, the Smart's biggest challenge in America is being able to stand up against the rest of the sub-$20,000 competition, which offers better all-around utility, power and efficiency. It's a hard sell, the ForTwo, but the 2010 model is certainly better equipped than any model before it. Follow the jump to read the full list of changes in Smart's press release.
Stuttgart – The new generation smart fortwo will be launched in the autumn of 2010 with a fresh interior look, an upgraded exterior and even more environmentally friendly engines. The range of colours available for the exterior now includes a trendy matt finish. Furthermore, the tridion safety cell is optionally available in white and the new colours red and blue expand the choice of colours available for the cabrio soft top. LED daytime driving lights and new alloy wheels offer even more opportunities for customisation. Fresh fabrics and colours and a new cockpit design determine the high quality interior ambience. The communication and entertainment systems feature cutting edge technology. The vehicles are powered by state-of-the-art petrol engines that have been further refined with the 45 and 52 kW versions emitting less than 100 g/km CO2 - a new benchmark. smart is celebrating the arrival of the new generation with a limited welcome model boasting high-class equipment.
The new generation of the innovative two-seater smart fortwo is even more attractive and environmentally friendly. Marc Langenbrinck, Managing Director smart brand says "We continue to work hard to make our smart models even better and more desirable in every respect. The new generation smart fortwo is perfect for our times. It is attractive and has style. It also boasts high quality materials, visible attention to detail, even more comfort and enhanced functionality. And don't forget that smart drivers often have an unconventional way of thinking and look for alternatives. The new generation smart fortwo with its wide range of engines and opportunities for customisation meets their requirements."
Fresh ideas for the exterior
A wider range of colours is available for the new generation smart fortwo for an even more striking appearance. Customers can now choose from seven exterior colours instead of the previous six – including a trendy matt finish. In addition to the new colour matt light green, light blue metallic will replace the previous blue metallic. In addition, the front spoiler, side skirts and the rear apron can be painted in the body colour on request. The fuel filler cap will be painted in the same colour as the body in future.
smart is further extending the choice of colours available for the smart fortwo with the new cabrio soft top colours red and blue and the tridion safety cell available in a brilliant white. In conjunction with the white tridion safety cell the door mirror surrounds and the radiator grille are painted white. These combination possibilities and modern colour constellations give the smart fortwo a completely new face.
The optional LED daytime driving lights are a special eye-catching detail. Three new 15 inch alloy wheels also bring fresh ideas to the area of design and styling.
Harmonious interior with a fresh feel-good atmosphere
The interior of the new generation smart fortwo has been redesigned and has a fresh and spacious feel-good atmosphere. The full fabric-covered instrument panel featuring new styling and new fabric designs contribute to this.
Further equipment features underline the attention to detail. These include new dials with a contrasting dark central disc in the instrument cluster and dashboard instruments, and an optional fabric-covered folding centre armrest. A 3-spoke leather steering wheel with cruise control function and a trip computer are available as options. Furthermore, customers can opt for new ambient lighting with dimmable LEDs to create a pleasant lighting atmosphere.
The new style is complemented by a whole host of clever stowage facilities and practical details. For example, a large stowage box is available as an option for the lower section of the centre console. The optional glove compartment includes a clip function for holding notes, for example, and seat pockets on the sides of the seats that come as standard offer additional practical stowage space. The new one-hand operation of the tailgate is a further practical detail that enhances comfort.
On the pulse of the times: information, communication and entertainment
Cutting edge communication and entertainment systems are available for the new generation smart fortwo. The new audio system navigation/multimedia is a real multimedia talent with a large 16.5 cm display, integrated navigation system, Bluetooth hands-free system, USB and AUX port for external devices and an interface for controlling an iPod. The new audio system basic also has a USB and AUX port for an MP3 or CD player.
The smart drive kit for the iPhone turns the popular phone into a multimedia trip computer that is optimised for the smart fortwo in terms of function and design. It includes the smart cradle for the iPhone and the smart drive app for the iPhone developed by smart and has all the important features needed when driving a car: phone calls via hands-free system, your own extensive music collection, internet radio and a clever navigation system with a special smart touch.
The new optional surround sound system offers a superior sound experience. A multi-channel digital amplifier with power output of 8x40 Watt and a perfectly matched loudspeaker system provide impressive sound.
New BRABUS features
The most striking change for the BRABUS und BRABUS Xclusive lines is the new rim design for the Monoblock VII alloy wheels. The BRABUS double-pipe rear muffler has also been modified.
The BRABUS interior design, too, has been modified in line with the new smart fortwo interior design. The instrument cluster now also features the new dial. The cruise control function is available as a new option.
Engines with lower fuel consumption and emissions
The engines of the new generation work more efficiently than ever before.
The 40 kW cdi turbodiesel is the CO2 champion with emissions of just 86 g/km. The optimised petrol engines also set new records with regard to CO2 emissions. Thanks to detailed work on the engine control unit and exhaust system both the 45 kW mhd and the 52 kW mhd consume 4.2 litres of petrol per 100 km (combined figure) – corresponding to CO2 emissions of 97 g/km (combined figure). The 62 kW version consumes 4.9 litres of fuel over 100 km (corresponding to CO2 emissions of 114 g/km). The power output of the BRABUS version has been increased from 72 kW to 75 kW. Despite this, at 119 g CO2 per 100 kilometres (combined figure) even the more powerful engine remains below the 120 gram threshold.
Limited special model "smart fortwo edition lightshine"
The smart brand is celebrating the introduction of the new generation fortwo with a limited welcome model boasting high quality equipment which continues the series of exciting special models. The smart fortwo edition lightshine is based on the passion equipment line which means that standard features include air conditioning, softouch and the bodypanel plus package. It is available in the new exterior colours matt light green or light blue metallic as a coupé and cabrio with a 52 kW mhd petrol engine, a 62 kW petrol engine or a 40kW cdi engine.
The special model boasts all the standard modifications implemented in the smart model refinement package. These include a new fabric-covered instrument panel with a new dial, new upholstery colours in design beige or design black, the fuel filler cap finished in the body colour and net pockets on the side bolsters between the seats.
Additional highlights of the special model are equipment features that are otherwise only available as options. For example, the high performance audio system navigation/multimedia including navigation and Bluetooth hands-free system, striking LED daytime driving lights and dashboard instruments.
And finally, equipment exclusive to the smart fortwo edition lightshine includes headlamp surrounds finished in the body colour, silver-grey painted 3-double-spoke 15" alloy wheels and the "edition" logo in the mirror triangle. Contrast components in matt chrome and velour floor mats with the "edition" logo further upgrade the interior.
The additional charge for the special model smart fortwo edition lightshine on top of the basic version is €2,065 with a metallic finish and €2,220 with the new matt light green finish (German list price incl. 19% VAT).
Trendsetter for environmentally friendly urban mobility
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 an unrivalled amount of road and parking space. It boasts state-of-the-art functionality and uses future-oriented, environmentally friendly technologies to bring its occupants to their destination comfortably and safely.
Many successes confirm that smart is on the right track with its trend-setting "smart approach" - for example with regard to design: the smart fortwo received the coveted Red dot award for outstanding design and found a place in the New York Museum of Modern Art even before it took to the streets of the USA in 2008. Or with regard to ecology: emitting just 86 grams of CO2 per kilometre, the smart cdi is the CO2 champion and smart boasts the lowest fleet consumption. Furthermore, smart is a pioneer in the sector of electric vehicles and is redefining zero-emission urban mobility. Or innovative mobility: within the framework of the "car2go" project in Ulm and now also in the Texan capital of Austin, smart fortwos can be spontaneously rented by anyone around the clock for a small fee. This new mobility concept that won the ÖkoGlobe environmental award is extremely successful and makes driving in the city as easy as using a mobile phone. Or attitude to life: with the "smart urban stages" smart is creating temporary exhibition platforms in various cities for future-oriented projects that relate to ideas for the future of urban life.
Furthermore, exceptional economy remains a defining feature of the smart fortwo. According to calculations by the ADAC, the largest German automobile club, even the first generation of the charming two-seater was the most economical car on the German market. The verdict was that no other car is cheaper to run in Germany. The car magazine "Auto, Motor und Sport" also put the trendy two-seater at the top of its table of cost-efficient cars.
More than 1.2 million smart fortwos have been delivered to customers since the first model was launched in 1998. Today, customers in 43 countries on five continents are able to enjoy the popular car. In the course of 2010 the smart fortwo will be launched in Argentina and Indonesia – bringing the number of countries to 45.