New Smarts are smarter than ever
Smart has launched its latest-generation fortwo and forfour models in South Africa. The cars are all new inside and out, toning down the marque’s quirky looks and character favour of something distinctly more stylish.
It’s not all change though: the familiar two-tone body treatment is still part of the look, with the tridion safety cell painted in a contrasting colour to the body panels which comprise a mixture of either plastic or sheet metal.
Flanking the new grille are LED daytime running lights incorporated into the reshaped headlights, with the grille itself being offered in a range of colours. In profile, both the fortwo and the forfour have minuscule overhangs, giving it a squat, almost sporty look.
The new Smart models are equipped with an interior offering some interesting touches. Besides a pod-style rev counter, mounted on top of the dash to the right of the main binnacle, the climate control’s temperature adjustment is a slider with an integrated magnifying glass!
Fabric inserts on the dashboard and door panels give the cabin an upmarket feel, and there is a decent list of available tech. On the convenience front: USB and Bluetooth, remote central locking and cruise control; while lane departure warning, collision avoidance and park distance control feature as part of the available driver assistance systems.
Space is particularly surprising in the Smart forfour, with up to 975 litres available with the rear seats folded flat. Cleverly, the subwoofer for the sound system has been designed to be removable, freeing up vital extra room in the compact city car.
Currently, the only drivetrain option for the Smart range is a 1,0-litre naturally aspirated three-cylinder, matched to a five-speed manual gearbox. With 52 kW and 91 Nm, it promises a fuel consumption figure of 4,2 litres per hundred kilometres on the combined cycle.
Later this year however, Smart will offer the forfour with a 66kW turbo version of the same motor, coupled to a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
Both Smart models are offered as base models, with three equipment levels: passion, prime and proxy. Base price starts at R174 900 for the fortwo and R179 900 for the forfour, with the top of the range 66kW dual-clutch gearbox forfour retailing for R242 900.