This test mule, spied outside Mercedes’ technical centre in Germany, is believed to feature Smart/Mercedes hardware under body panels from the current Twingo.
As reported in March, Renault’s next-generation city car will share a platform with Smart’s four-seater as part of Renault-Nissan’s platform and drivetrain co-operation with Daimler.
A key element of that tie-up was ‘Project Edison’, a plan to create a modular platform that will underpin the Forfour and Twingo replacement, as well as Smart’s smaller Fortwo and, potentially, a new Renault equivalent.
Although the Forfour and Twingo will share a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive platform, they will have different exterior designs. Unlike the first Forfour, which used a conventional two-box design, the new model is set to adopt a more upright one-box profile. At 3500mm in length and 1550mm in height, the new Smart/Renault will be around 800mm longer than today’s Fortwo.
Power will come from a new range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines that are being developed as part of the Daimler/Renault-Nissan co-operation. Hybrid and electric powertrains are also expected. The cars will be built at Renault’s factory at Novo Mesto, Slovenia.
Renault’s version of the Forfour could adopt a new name, leaving the Fortwo sister car to be called Twingo.