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Smart Forvision Concept points at new Fortwo

Thu, 01 Sep 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Smart Forvision Concept - a pointer to the 3rd generation Fortwo

Just as they do with Maybach, Mercedes persist with Smart. Despite the fact that both outings must cost an arm and a leg to keep going with, as far as we know, no profits ever. And that perseverance seems unlikely to end any time soon – at least for Smart – with the reveal of the Smart Forvison Concept, which is heading for Frankfurt.

The Forvision tells us where the next generation Smart Fortwo is heading, certainly in terms of design and probably with a lot of the technology too; technology developed with the help of BASF.

So we get to see stuff on the Forvision like solar panels on the roof to power Multimedia and Climate (I know, no music or HVAC in the UK, then), and part of the climate includes ‘e-textile’ which covers the seats with heat conductive material to warm or cool.

We also see clever plastic being used for the wheels (making them 3kg less than an alloy) and carbon fibre reinforced epoxy resin being used for the doors and body panels, saving 30 per cent in weight.

All the lightness and innovation will be bolted on top of a new chassis; a new chassis which will be shared with – of all things – the Renault Twingo. Both the Smart and the next generation Twingo will use the new Mercedes rear engine/rear drive platform.

In terms of powertrains, the Forvision has an electric motor and batteries of some description, although Smart are choosing not to give details. We’re assuming it to be the same as the  third generation Smart EV, which is also heading for Frankfurt.

But for a little city run-around - which is what the smart should be – EV is the way to go, always assuming you have somewhere to charge it.

The only problem with a Smart Forvision EV – when it arrives as the 3rd generation Smart Fortwo –  is going to be price, always the Achilles heel of the Smart car; we expect the 3rd Generation Smart Ed to cost over £30k.

Bolt in an electric motor and a set of lithium-ions and market it at realistic money, and Nicolas Hayek’s original vision for the Smart Car as funky and affordable urban transport could finally be realised.

Sadly, we won’t bet on the price being any more competitive on the third generation Smart than it has been so far.

(21 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

By Cars UK