A Smart revolution is on the way. We can exclusively reveal that a replacement for the Smart Roadster is set to hit showrooms next year, followed closely by a new 4x4.
An Auto Express reader and Smart customer got in touch after a visit to his local dealer, who confided he’d been informed of plans to produce a successor to the roadster during a trip to the Smart factory. Not only that, a factory worker also let slip that a 4x4 competitor to the MINI Countryman is in the pipeline. Our pictures show how the models could look when they reach production.
The Roadster takes inspiration from the ForSpeed concept revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and stays true to the 2003 original with its distinctive low stance, while featuring modern design touches such as sculpted flanks and intricate detailing. The chunkier five-door 4x4 harks back to the ForFour supermini that was axed in 2006. It retains Smart’s trademark two-tone body, highlighting the central safety cell, and will be the firm’s largest model yet.
The 4x4 is likely to be based on Mercedes’ new B-Class platform, but underpinnings for the Roadster have yet to be confirmed. However, the recent tie-up between Smart parent firm Daimler and the Renault-Nissan alliance has already heralded a joint rear-drive platform to be shared between the next ForTwo and Renault Twingo. This could feasibly serve the Roadster, too.
It’s not the first time that the Smart Roadster has been pencilled in for a comeback. Back in 2006, an industry group called Project Kimber planned to sell revised versions of the car using the AC Ace badge. Production was slated for 2007, but the operation was quietly dropped before a prototype had even taken to the road.
New versions of the ForTwo and ForFour are scheduled to land in showrooms in 2014.