Mercedes won't use a new front-wheel drive platform developed with Renault-Nissan as the basis for a Smart-badged SUV.

In an interview with Autocar, Mercedes-Benz boss Dieter Zetsche confirmed that all future Smart models will be based around the new rear engine/rear-wheel drive platform. “It is the brand’s defining feature, a unique selling point that sets Smart apart,” he said. “There are no plans to adopt a more conventional front engine/front-wheel drive layout for a larger, additional model.”

Instead of adding a dedicated SUV to its line-up, to rival the likes of the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun, Smart plans to spin a crossover model off its upcoming second-generation Forfour. It will feature a raised ride height and body cladding.

However, Zetsche refused to rule out the possibility of a new entry-level SUV being added to the Mercedes-Benz line-up, beneath the third-generation A-class, as a rival to the Mini Countryman. “Given the premium-class competition, it is paramount to have the [Mercedes-Benz] star on a car even at this end of the market,” he said.