Smart Fourjoy concept (2013) at Frankfurt motor showThu, 05 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Nauseating name aside, the Smart Fourjoy concept isn’t just a spot of fun from Daimler’s city car arm: it’s actually a preview of the new Smart Forfour supermini, which will go on sale in 2014. This latest concept car follows on from the ForUs and Forstars concepts first show in 2012.Why doesn’t the Smart Fourjoy (cringe) have any doors? Or roof? Or windows?
Because, according to Smart, ‘the Fourjoy dispenses with unnecessary ballast’. Not sure we Brits would class handy gadgets to protect us from the weather (like a roof) as ‘ballast’, but the concept does at least give an uninterrupted view of the typically outlandish interior.What’s innovative about the 2013 Smart Fourjoy?
It’s got a rear-mounted 74bhp electric motor to drive the rear wheels, and a tight turning circle of 9.1m. The 17.6kWh battery takes seven hours to charge from a regular socket. Use the on-board charger and a rapid charging cable and that re-juice time falls to less than one hour, says Smart.
The signature Smart ‘tridion safety cell’ is present too. Inside, the seats are fashioned from a sweeping one-piece backrest, there’s what Smart deems a ‘spherical’ instrument cluster, and smartphone docking instead of a typical dashboard-integrated infotainment.What’s smart got to say about the Fourjoy?
The usual indecipherable spiel. Try this, for example: ‘Transparent petroleum-coloured moulded parts emphasise the upbeat character of the study. They are found in the wind deflector at the top of the front windscreen, on the A-pillars on the sides and on the rear roof spoiler. The function and colour are reminiscent of 1990s tennis caps.’ So yes, essentially you’re looking at a motorised sun hat.And if I want one with doors and a roof?
Then you won’t have to wait long for the new Smart Forfour. A production version, sporting the same light and grille design as this, will arrive in late 2014. Don’t worry, it’s not going to be a rehashed Mitsubishi Colt like the unloved original: instead Renault, who will also sell it as the next-gen Twingo supermini, will build responsible for building both Renault and Smart models.
By Ollie Kew