Smart Forfour (2015): first official photosWed, 16 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700
By James Clark
First Official Pictures
16 July 2014 19:30
The Smart ForFour is back - and this time it's twinned with the new, rear-engined Smart ForTwo rather than a bitsa Mitsubishi.
The second-generation Smart ForFour was unveiled at an event in Berlin tonight, and marks the return of Daimler to the affordable family hatchback segment.
With weak sales and an indistinct DNA, the first Smart ForFour was a sales flop and lasted only a couple of years. This time, Daimler means business...
Smart has worked hard on ensuring the new 2015 ForFour is very nearly as manoeuvrable as its younger sibling – the ForTwo. They’ve gone about this by minimising overhangs and ensuring the car’s turning circle is as small as possible – ending with a result of 8.65 metres, so the ForFour should be easy to drive in traffic typical of urban roads.
The ForFour is twinned with Renault's new Twingo, launched at the 2014 Geneva motor show. But Smart promises its version has been tuned to handle differently, while a sports suspension package is also available as an option, firming up the ride and lowering the car by 10mm.
Probably the biggest leap forward from the previous generation is the announcement that the new ForFour will be available with the choice of two three-cylinder engines and a dual-clutch gearbox from launch.
A minuscule 898cc three-cylinder engine that’s pumped up by the addition of a turbocharger will power top-of-the-range ForFours. This means 90bhp and a handy 100lb ft at only 2500rpm. It also features an electrically controlled wastegate, which improves engine dynamics as well as economy.
Base Smarts will have to make do with a slightly larger, though naturally-aspirated, engine – also a three cylinder - producing 71bhp and 67lb ft. Smart says that the most of the motor's torque will be available from as low as 1000rpm – meaning increased economy and drivability for urban driving. Both engines come equipped with automatic start-stop. There’s also a choice of gearboxes - a five-speed manual or ‘Twinamic’ six-speed dual clutch ‘box.
A couple of months after launch a cheaper, entry-level engine will be made available, producing a titchy 60bhp.
The extremely catchy Passion, Prime and Proxy are the three equipment lines on the new ForFour, reflecting the time levels on the ForTwo. In simple terms, these serve to provide huge scope for personalisation; with an extensive list of options it potentially means no ForFour will look the same.
Standard kit on the ForFour includes cruise control and LED daytime running lights. A JBL sound system also comes as standard and on higher-spec models features a 320-watt eight-channel DSP amplifier and 12 speakers, promising excellent sound quality.
Safety is a huge part of today’s car industry and the new Smart hatch has more safety features than ever. Crosswind Assist comes as standard, which applies gentle brake inputs should the car start to be blown off course. Forward Collision Warning and Lane Keeping Assist are also optional extras. ABS antilock brakes, ASR and ESP are included as standard.
Smart is yet to release any pricing details on the new Forfour, but keep your eyes peeled on the CAR website for further details when this is announced. The car is expected to go on sale in late 2014.
By James Clark