2016 Smart Fortwo Gets Growth Spurt
- The redesigned 2016 Smart Fortwo will grow in size when the model hits U.S. streets in two years, Edmunds has learned.
- However, the Fortwo will not get significantly bigger, as originally expected.
- The styling of the redesigned model will not be similar to the larger Smart ForStars concept car shown at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The redesigned two-passenger 2016 Smart Fortwo will grow in size when the model hits U.S. streets in two years.
But while the ForStars concept car that debuted at the 2012 Paris Auto Show suggested Smart's redesigned models would get significantly bigger, Smart USA General Manager Mark Webster told Edmunds that won't happen.
The redesigned Fortwo "is about 3, 4 inches wider and maybe 1 or 2 inches longer" than the 2013 model, Webster said.
The ForStars concept was nearly 3 feet longer than the current Smart Fortwo.
"There will be some new innovations, but it will still keep that fun personality," Webster added. "We are looking at different editions and different variants."
The car will be equipped with a new three-cylinder engine when U.S. sales begin in August 2015, he said during an interview at a Smart press event here. A Mercedes-Benz spokesman said sales in Europe are likely to begin three to six months earlier.
Webster suggested that the 2016 Fortwo's exterior styling will not be similar to the ForStars concept car, which was dramatically different from today's Fortwo.
"I have seen the production version of the Fortwo and it is a change but not a breakthrough," he said.
While the exterior and interior will be entirely new, some styling cues will be adapted from today's car. He did not elaborate.
"You will still see the core personality of the car," he said.
Donna Boland, a Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman, said it is important to maintain some of the current styling cues, particularly for Smart enthusiasts.
"They love making it theirs in terms of personalization," Boland said.
Smart USA has about 2,500 photos that owners snapped of their customized cars, "everything from Batman to Hello, Kitty," she said.
Speaking of the redesign, Boland said the current Fortwo "has this iconic shape and you hate to lose that equity."
The future U.S. lineup will continue to be limited to one model, the two-passenger Smart Fortwo. Webster said there are no plans to import the Smart Forfour, a four-passenger model that is being jointly developed by Nissan-Renault and Mercedes-Benz.
Edmunds says: Some changes are on tap for the 2016 Smart Fortwo, but don't expect a supersized car.