What is it?
There has never been much to fault about the concept behind the Smart Fortwo microcar, which offers urban mobility for two people in a usefully compact and very stylish package. Previously, though, the car’s execution has had its flaws.
While the third-generation Fortwo doesn’t deviate too dramatically from the Mk2 model in terms of mechanical set-up – it retains the rear-engined, rear-drive layout of its predecessor, as well as the two-door, two-seat layout – there’s been a major focus on correcting the old car’s wrongs, most notably an unsettled ride and clunky transmission.
The Fortwo comes to market in tandem with a reinvigorated four-door, four-seat Forfour and both share their underpinnings with the new Renault Twingo.
The two Smart models share a common 1660mm width and 1550mm height, but the Fortwo is shorter than its four-seat relation. Indeed, its 2695mm length is the same as the previous iteration, although the wheelbase has been pushed out by 8mm to 1873mm.
The Fortwo and Forfour also have a new family look, particularly in terms of the front-end styling and the exposed elements of the Tridion safety cell.
Two powerplants are available at launch: a 999cc, three-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine that produces 70bhp and 67lb ft and a more powerful turbocharged 898cc, three-cylinder unit with 89bhp and 100lb ft on tap.
The other big development for the Fortwo is that the unloved, sloth-like five-speed automated manual has been consigned to history, replaced by a choice of a regular five-speed manual or, later in 2015, a six-speed, twin-clutch automatic.