These first pictures of the new Smart Forfour show the car in early development ahead of a planned launch later this year.
The Smart Forfour, like the new Fortwo, the Forfour city car has been co-developed with Renault alongside the new Twingo. The new Forfour will be assembled alongside the latest Twingo at Renault's Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia. The Forfour is likely to be rear-engined and be a rear-wheel drive, like its sister car.
The model was closely previewed by the Fourjoy concept at last year's Frankfurt motor show, with the four-seat concept showing us the shape of Smart's crucial second model. The firm has indicated that the powertrain, same as the Fourjoy concept, 55kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery set up as the Fortwo electric drive, will be available for the Forfour at launch.
Elsewhere, the Forfour is likely to make use of a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. Offered in both 70bhp naturally aspirated, and 85bhp turbocharged forms, the engine will be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox by default, with the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission also available. The new Fortwo is expected to go on sale in the second half of this year.
Company officials have already noted how crucial the new Forfour will be to its future, with parent company Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche telling Autocar the brand is "an answer to a question that is more relevant now than when we started it. The development of major metropolitan areas and increasing traffic congestion makes Smart a good solution, even more so in the past."
Zetsche has also said he would be open to more collaboration between Daimler and Renault-Nissan in the future. Both the new Fortwo and Forfour are expected to be shown at the Paris motor show in October.