Smart has previewed its upcoming second-generation Forfour at the Frankfur motor show with the unveiling of the latest in a long line of concept cars to be made public in recent years, the Smart Fourjoy.
Pictured here for the first time, the new four seater provides clues to next year’s Forfour that has been conceived and developed in partnership with Renault, which will offer its own version of the new car as a replacement for the Twingo – as previewed by the TwinRun concept.
Although doing without doors, roof and tailgate, the shape and silhouette of the Fourjoy is described as being close to that of Smart’s crucial second model, which will be assembled alongside the third-generation Twingo at Renault’s Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia. Smart has noted that adding doors to the Fourjoy would make it 'pretty much there' as a production model.
Key design features include Smart’s signature Tridion cell, the exposed metal frame to which its composite plastic body panels are attached. It is fashioned from aluminium on the concept car but will be made of high strength steel on the production Forfour.
The Fourjoy is also said to mirror the dimensions of the production Forfour due to reach UK showrooms during the latter half of 2014. Smart says the new model is crucial to the company's future and viability. The firm also notes that previous Smart concepts, including 2011's Forspeed and 2012's Forstars have all lead to the Fourjoy.
The compact dimensions aim to provide the Forfour with genuine city car traits that Smart suggests will also be evident in the handing characteristics. With a turning circle of 9.1 metres, the Mercedes-Benz-owned company is already talking up the manoeuvrability of the new car, which it describes as class leading.
Less production orientated than the exterior is the fanciful interior of the Fourjoy, which receives touch screen controls and organically inspired seat designs both front and rear among other highly conceptual touches. Prospective buyers of the upcoming Forfour can expect an altogether less flamboyant interior with cheaper materials in line with the existing Fortwo and accommodation for up to five through the inclusion of a three-across split/fold rear seat.
The Fourjoy is propelled by the same electric system available in the existing Fortwo electric drive. It consists of a 55kW brushless electric motor mounted at the rear underneath the boot floor together with a 17.7kWh lithium-ion battery sited within the floorpan with drive channelled to the rear wheels via a fixed ratio gearbox.
Smart is yet to make any official claim on the range or performance provided by the emission-free system, which Smart indicates will feature on the new Forfour from the beginning of sales next year.