What is it?
A long overdue solution to the Smart ForTwo’s tendency to abruptly bob its nose between gear changes in the form of a new slick shifting six-speed, twin-clutch gearbox.
Called the Twinamic, the Getrag-engineered unit replaces the old automated five-speed gearbox in the recently introduced third-generation ForTwo, providing the choice between manual and full automatic operation.
It will be offered as an option alongside the standard five-speed manual gearbox we sampled at the impressive new two-seat city car’s launch last year at a £995 premium.
The Twinamic will initially be available with the ForTwo’s base 70bhp naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine. However, there are plans to offer it in combination with the more convincing 89bhp turbocharged 898cc three-cylinder, direct-injection petrol engine driven here from mid-year.
Additionally, Smart says it will also make the new gearbox available on the larger ForFour in the not-too-distant future, bringing it into line with the mechanically identical Renault Twingo, which is also billed to get a twin-clutch gearbox option later this year.
Although it is based around the six-speed dual clutch gearbox used by Renault in the front-engine/front-wheel-drive Clio, the Twinamic has been heavily re-engineered for the ForTwo and ForFour’s space-saving rear-engine/rear-wheel-drive layout.
At 67kg, the new gearbox adds 34kg to the kerb weight of the pint-sized city car fitted with the standard five-speed manual unit – in the process negating any real gain in efficiency.