Everyone was skeptical at first, but MINI has proved critics wrong with continued success since its introduction in 2001. Fiat was the second to join the premium minicar segment with the 500, and it has done well for itself so far.
What hasn’t met the same success is Smart. Sales have been on the uptick recently, but for the most part their cars have been too expensive, too small and not efficient enough. 34 mpg city and 38 mpg highway? Give me a break.
We like the Smart, but efficiency isn’t the chief reason for purchasing. In this regard, the next-generation Smart models are going to have to do much better.
Smart is readying an all-new next-generation Fortwo, and Auto Express reports it will be joined by two new models. The first is a Forfour, which as it name implies, is a four-door version of the Smart. The company tried this concept briefly in Europe, but quickly canceled the car due to poor reviews and slow demand. This time around it is going to be executed much better, and thus has the potential to be a big seller for the brand. News of the Forfour has already been circulating for a while, but Auto Express also reports that a small crossover will be joining the line-up as well.
Daimler and Nissan (which by extension includes Renault) recently commenced a partnership deal that includes joint-development for Smart vehicles. That means the Renault Twingo and Smart Forfour will be related, as well as the upcoming CUV. The Smart crossover will share its underpinnings with Nissan’s funky Juke, a perfect pairing. Smart previewed what this car could look like when it introduced the 2012 Forstars concept, and the 2011 Forvision concept.
This move really makes sense as a way to grow the Smart brand, particularly here in the United States. MINI has seen great success with the Countryman, and Fiat is following up with its 500L. Clearly there is a market for small cars that are stylish and offer something that is out of the ordinary. Hopefully Smart lives up to its potential with its new Fortwo, Forfour and upcoming CUV.