The Smart ForFour is back, but not as you know it! Smart announced today that it is developing a small five-door car in the US market which will launch within the next 15 months.
The car is the first product of the new alliance between Smart’s parent company Daimler and Renault-Nissan. The move will see the new ForFour developed from the versatile new V-platform that underpins the new Micra. Changes from the Nissan model will be minor as the car is intended to be a stopgap until the all-new ForFour arrives in 2014.
“We are faced with continuing customer demand for a smart car with more seating capacity,” explained Roger Penske, Chairman of the Penske Automotive Group which sells Smarts in the US.
“Sales and service of the five-seater will be carried out exclusively by our approximately 75 smart dealerships in the United States. Together with Nissan, we will bring to market a fully equipped small car for our customers and dealers in the USA. It will fit in well with the smart brand.”
The timing of the new car works well for Smart. Thanks to the arrival of the Ford Fiesta and the Honda Jazz (badged as a Fit in The States), interest in small hatchbacks has never been higher in the US.