The new smart fortwo: The evolution of an icon

Jan 31, 2007
Should an icon like the smart fortwo undergo further development at all? The answer is "yes" – indeed, this is a must. For the new smart fortwo it was important to strike a balance between retaining the strengths of the previous model on the one hand and venturing new ideas on the other hand.
The past ten years have seen great changes to the terms of reference. The more than 770,000 smart fortwo customers influenced the requirements for the successor model. However, so did new legal requirements, especially those for the American market.
The brand, at its youthful age of just eight, also stakes out clear terms of reference for the design. It was important to embody innovation, functionality and joie de vivre - the core values of smart – in the second smart fortwo generation just as these were anchored in the first generation.
Front view
The projection headlamps are not only unique in this vehicle class, they also give the smart a high-tech and more striking "face". The indicators have been integrated in the headlamps.
The larger track widths give the new smart fortwo a wider and more athletic appearance. This impression is also underlined by the wider standard tyres (front: 155, rear 175).
Side view
The new smart fortwo is slightly longer, but it still has extremely compact dimensions. It is exactly 195 millimetres longer than the first generation. The front overhang is 72 millimetres longer, the wheelbase has increased by 55 millimetres and the rear overhang is 68 millimetres longer.
The designers have succeeded in retaining the smart fortwo's typical silhouette whilst giving the car a more masculine character. Clarity and modernity characterise the shape.
In addition to the slimmer tridion safety cell in the sill and door area, the horizontal door handle is a striking new feature. It has been rotated by 90 degrees compared with its predecessor. The rear window is less steeply angled - firstly, to keep the roof short and also to give the car a more pronounced coupé character. In order to comply with European laws relating to pedestrian protection the front is now a little higher and steeper.
Rear view
The new smart fortwo is 43 millimetres wider. However, it appears wider than this because the rear apron now runs straight through without an indent. The wide design of the tailgate handle also contributes to the wide effect.
Four instead of six rear lights now adorn the rear view of the smart fortwo. The rear light, brake light and indicator are located at the top. The bottom lights are housed in circular reflectors. Here, the rear fog light is located on the left-hand side and the reversing light on the right.
The rear window reaches across almost the whole width of the vehicle and is framed by two black high-gloss panels.
smart fortwo cabrio: fully automatic opening and closing of the soft top at any speed
The open two-seater has enjoyed great popularity in many European cities for years, especially in Rome. It is an icon with cult character.
The soft top can be opened and closed at any speed. In addition to this the new smart fortwo cabrio offers enhanced comfort: whereas the driver previously had to get out to lock the soft top in its final position at the rear, this is now done fully automatically at the touch of a button.
A further new feature on the smart fortwo cabrio is the heated rear window made of glass. It has a higher position than the previous PVC window and this greatly increases the loading volume when the soft top is folded down.
As before, drivers of a smart fortwo cabrio can release the rear bow of the soft top and swing it up. The soft top snaps into place in a folded up position facilitating loading of the luggage compartment.
For even more cabriolet feeling, the roof bars can be removed by releasing levers on the B-pillars and stored in special compartments integrated in the tailgate.
The soft top itself is made from a strong black polyacrylic fabric on the outside with a polyester/cotton mix on the inside and a layer of rubber in between.
The roof spoiler made of black polyamide boasts an aerodynamic shape and also accommodates the third brake light. The entire soft top has been developed and produced by the roof specialist Edscha.
The body structure of the smart fortwo cabrio shares 70 percent of its panels with the coupé. The A-pillar has been strengthened in the windscreen area with an internal high-strength steel tube. The solid roll-over bar between the B-pillars is welded and bolted to the tridion safety cell. All these measures add just 15 kilograms to the weight of the car.
The technical highlights of the new smart fortwo
  • Central locking with radio remote control
  • Panoramic roof made from polycarbonate
  • Clear glass headlights featuring projection technology
  • smart fortwo cabrio: fully electric soft top
  • smart fortwo cabrio: heated glass rear window
  • Air conditioning with temperature control (standard on passion)
  • Audio CD system with MP3 interface (optional)
  • Rain/light sensor (optional)
  • Automatic door locking when the vehicle is in motion
  • State-of-the-art four-valve engines with variable valve control, 62 kW variant with turbo
  • More power and torque
  • New automated manual five-speed transmission with shorter shifting times
  • Steering wheel gearshift paddles (standard for pulse, option for passion)
  • Electrically operated clutch
  • Electric power steering (optional)
  • Optimised tridion safety cell
  • Optimised side protection with steel door structure
  • esp (only vehicle in this class to feature esp in the basic version)
  • abs with electronic brake force distribution
  • Brake assist
  • State-of-the-art restraint systems with airbags, belt tensioners and belt-force limiters
  • Innovative head/thorax side airbags (optional)
  • High-performance braking system
  • Safety seats with integral seat belts
Environmental friendliness
  • smart fortwo cdi: standard consumption of 3.4 litres (corresponds to 90 g CO2/km and "three-litre" status)
  • smart fortwo cdi with diesel particle filter fitted as standard (in D, I, CH (open system); closed system from 2008)
  • Standard consumption of petrol variants 4.7 and 4.9 litres per 100 km respectively
  • smart fortwo with starter generator and further fuel saving of up to 13% in city traffic
  • Requires minimum road space
  • Use of powder coating process for tridion safety cell
  • Use of water-soluble, solvent-free paints
  • Solid colour bodypanels in the basic colours white, yellow and black
  • Instrument panel made of flax/plastic composite material
  • High recycling rate
Extensive range of standard equipment
  • H7 projection headlamps
  • Third brake light
  • White side indicators
Functional/electrical equipment
  • Automated manual five-speed transmission
  • Instrument cluster with multifunctional display
  • Digital gear display with gear recommendation
  • Exterior temperature indicator with frost warning
  • Indicators with lanechanger function
  • Windscreen wipers with interval wiping and wipe/wash function
  • Heated rear window
  • Tank cap lock integrated in the central locking
  • 12 Volt socket in centre console
  • Central locking with radio remote control and immobiliser
  • Electric soft top (smart fortwo cabrio) remotely opened with vehicle key/li>
  • Passenger seat can be fully folded forwards (single hand operation)
  • Storage compartment on passenger side, next to steering wheel and in the doors
  • Coin holder (smart fortwo coupé)
  • Mirror in driver's sun visor
  • tridion safety cell
  • Crash-absorbing elements at front and rear
  • Crash sensor to activate hazard warning lights
  • Full-size driver and passenger airbag
  • Safety seats with integral seat belts
  • Belt tensioner and belt-force limiter
  • Drive lock, automatic door locking when the vehicle is in motion
  • esp
  • abs with electronic brake-force distribution
  • Hydraulic brake assist
pure equipment line
The pure entry-level variant comes with everything that makes a smart a smart. The exterior of the pure is characterized by a black grooved plastic roof and steel rims. It comes with a black tridion safety cell.
In the interior, different surfaces and colours largely distinguish the basic version from the sporty pulse and the elegant and extensively equipped passion.
The lower part of the instrument panel (knee pad) and the door trim are made of grained black plastic. The two-spoke steering wheel is a further feature of the pure, as are its mechanical windows and the additional storage compartment in the tailgate (not for the 45 kW variant).
pulse equipment line
The name stands for sportiness. The pulse also features a black tridion safety cell, however this is optionally available in silver. Its six-spoke alloy wheels with wide tyres (175/55 R 15 at front, 195/50 R 15 at rear) give it a beefy appearance.
The interior of the pulse features an upholstery colour exclusively available for this equipment line and matching fabric elements for the instrument panel, knee pads and door trim that create a pleasant atmosphere. Above the passengers' heads is a newly developed panoramic roof made of polycarbonate. A black blind provides sun protection.
The sporty character is emphasized by the rev counter and clock on the dashboard and a three-spoke leather sports steering wheel including steering wheel gearshift. Further standard features include electric windows and fog lights.
passion equipment line
The elegant and extensively equipped passion can always be identified by its silver tridion cell. The door mirrors and radiator grille are also painted silver. Further features include a panoramic roof made of polycarbonate and twelve-spoke alloy wheels (front tyres 155/65 R 15, rear tyres 175/60 R 15).
Like the pulse, the fabric elements on the instrument panel, knee pad and door trim match the colour of the upholstery. Three different colours with a special fabric design are available. In addition to red and black, the interior is now also available in beige.
Further standard equipment includes air conditioning with temperature control, a two-spoke leather steering wheel and the automatic gear programme softouch.
Like the pulse the passion also features electric windows and a luggage compartment cover including a net bag.
  • tridion safety cell in silver (optional for pulse, standard for passion)
  • Panoramic roof with blind (optional for pure, standard for pulse and passion)
  • Leather seats including seat heating (optional for pulse and passion)
  • Glove compartment, lockable
  • Luggage compartment cover including net (standard for passion)
  • Smoker's kit
  • 3-spoke leather sports steering wheel with steering wheel gearshift incl. leather gear knob (standard for pulse, option for passion)
  • Comfort/light package (electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, rain/light sensor, driveway illumination)
  • softouch five speed transmission with automatic function (optional for pure and pulse, standard for passion)
  • Electric power steering
  • Air conditioning with automatic temperature control incl. combined filter (optional for pure and pulse, standard for passion)
  • Electric windows with comfort function (optional for pure)
  • Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors
  • Heated seats
  • Front fog lights (optional for pure and passion, standard for pulse)
  • Anti-theft alarm system
  • Audio package: smart radio 9 (RDS radio CD, 2 loudspeakers), smart sound system (two tweeters, two mid-range speakers, subwoofer, smart MP3 interface)
  • Provision for radio installation (incl. rod aerial and 2 loudspeakers)
  • smart radio 9 (RDS radio CD, 2 loudspeakers)
  • smart radio 10 (RDS radio with CD changer for 6 CDs, MP3 compatible, incl. two loudspeakers)
  • smart sound system
  • Portable smart navigation system
  • Head/thorax side airbags
  • Breakdown kit
  • Isofix child seat fastener incl. manual airbag deactivation
  • Nine spoke 15 inch alloy wheels with 155/65 R 15 tyres at front, 175/60 R 15 tyres at rear (optional for pure and passion)
The smart fortwo can be even better tailored to customers' personal requirements with an extensive range of accessories. For example, the radiator grille, door mirror caps and rear trim strip in high-gloss chrome give the smart fortwo an even more elegant appearance.
A flexible luggage compartment management system with slot-in sections that is also available as a genuine accessory maintains order in the luggage compartment.
This enables the luggage compartment to be partitioned as required and shopping can be fixed with straps or a bag to prevent it from sliding around.
In addition to a hazard warning triangle, emergency jacket and first aid kid, the safety plus package includes a torch, umbrella and ice scraper. Everything is cleverly stowed in space-saving mode in the compartment in the tailgate. Optimum use is made of the space available and the interior is kept neat and tidy.
The colours
The new smart fortwo also features the two-colour concept typical of smart. The tridion safety cell is available in black or silver and the bodypanels are available in a choice of six colours. The basic colours are black, yellow and white. The metallic colours blue, red and silver are available subject to an additional charge.