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Smart Fourjoy concept points to new styling


Smart will be providing us with our best look yet at its third-generation Fortwo with the unveiling of the Fourjoy concept car at next week’s 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show.

The Fourjoy is the latest in a string of concepts that hint at the styling of the next Fortwo and a new Forfour, both of which are under development and due out late next year as 2015 models.

It features a number of details from previous show cars that proved popular, such as the square-shaped lights, lightweight construction and minimalist cabin.

The honeycomb structure of the air intakes also emphasise the link with previous Smart concepts such as the For-us (2012 Detroit Auto Show) and Forstars (2012 Paris Auto Show).

The four-seat configuration, meanwhile, hints directly at the layout planned for the four-door, four-seat Forfour. The original Forfour was built between 2004 and 2006 and only spawned a single generation.

The Fourjoy has a length of 3.5m, a width of 2.0m and a height of 1.5m, and the turning circle is just under 9.0m. Driving the rear wheels is an electric motor, rated at 55kW. It draws its power from a 17.6-kW/h lithium-ion battery that takes around 7 hours to charge using an ordinary household power outlet.

The concept’s designers are keen to stress some of the more premium features, suggesting that Smart will be repositioning its new Fortwo and Forfour models slightly more upmarket to target the likes of Mini.

The signature tridion cell is finished in aluminium and the raised smart lettering milled from more aluminium on the side skirts is a further sign of the top quality. As with the first-generation Fortwo, the rear lights are integrated in the tridion cell, and the lights, both in the front and the rear, all feature LEDs.

Inside, there are organic, sculptural shapes reminiscent of modern lounge furniture. The rear of the seats is made of dark chrome, while perforated and smooth surfaces alternate on the vehicle floor. A continuous structure runs down the middle of the vehicle and features a convex surface with touch-sensitive operating functions.

As mentioned, the new Smart Fortwo and Forfour go on sale late next year. Underpinning them will be the new platform jointly developed by Smart and alliance partner Renault (the French automaker will use it for its next-generation Twingo). The new platform will be flexible enough to spawn a variety of models including a high-riding crossover. As for production, the Smart plant in Hambach, France will be responsible for the two-door Fortwo, while the Renault plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia will be the production base for the Forfour as well as the new Twingo.

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