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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm not sure what to think about the "Renault pulls out" statement since we've known that Renault decided to only pursue the forfour/Twingo venture for a while now. So, that's nothing really newsworthy. However, the detail of the specifications is interesting.


Smart Fortwo (2014): Renault pull out, Daimler goes alone

It might have been love at first sight, but in the course of 2012 the relationship between Daimler and Renault/Nissan went through plenty of troubled water. Consider for instance the third-generation Smart Fortwo, which no longer features a Renault-badged twin.

Having spent a small fortune on new electric car projects like Twizy and Zoe (not to mention Fluence ZE and Kangoo ZE), the French pulled out of the Fortwo programme to save money and manpower. As a result, the Germans must go this one alone, which ain't easy since Project Edison is overweight and over budget.

In the course of the model changeover due in early 2014, the microcar's CO2 footprint actually increases from 86 to 99g/km. How come? Because the diesel variant bites the dust. It will be replaced by a normally aspirated 65bhp 0.9-litre three-cylinder petrol unit which is of course less economical.

Also on the way out is the Smart's jumping sequential transmission. Instead, you get a manual six-speeder. Those who prefer to give the left hoof a rest must spend about €2000 on the new seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox. The other two available engines are turbocharged threes rated at 85 and 105bhp.

The new Fortwo is not exactly an aestethic improvement over the current car. Although it retains the contrasting Tridion safety cell and the optional two-tone paint, the design looks frumpy and contrived according to those who've seen the finished styling bucks.

While the overall length increases by only 30mm to 2730mm [1.2 inch increase], the width goes up from 1750 to 1870mm [4.7 inch increase]. This move may improve the directional stability, but it is counter-productive in tight urban driving and parking conditions. Perhaps copying the proportions of the unsuccessful Toyota iQ was not such a good idea after all.

Like the exterior, the funky and functional cabin has also been redesigned from scratch. Worth a closer look are the eight-button steering-wheel, the air-con panel operated by practical slide controls, and the removable in-dash tablet which mixes mini iPad, smartphone and sat-nav elements. Still there and almost unchanged are the four round air vents and the trademark rev-counter at the foot of the driver-side A-post.

Only three months after the coupé, Smart will launch the Fortwo Cabriolet and the e-smart powered by a 88bhp Bosch motor fed by a battery stack supplied by Accumotive.
 

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The article shows no sources and yet another artist's rendering.

Considering they're only using mules right now I don't know how the author knows how it looks inside and out.

Like with all new cars, all of these magazine "reports" are no more than speculation and rumors, sorta like tabloids sadly.

And of course, the obvious indicator of this not being an accurate article is the statement that Renault is backing out. That would be strange since this platform was intended to be the successor of their madly successful Twingo. And even if Renault backed out it wouldn't mean Mercedes is at it alone. Nissan was also a part of the merger for parts too (engine).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The article shows no sources and yet another artist's rendering.

Considering they're only using mules right now I don't know how the author knows how it looks inside and out.

Like with all new cars, all of these magazine "reports" are no more than speculation and rumors, sorta like tabloids sadly.

And of course, the obvious indicator of this not being an accurate article is the statement that Renault is backing out. That would be strange since this platform was intended to be the successor of their madly successful Twingo. And even if Renault backed out it wouldn't mean Mercedes is at it alone. Nissan was also a part of the merger for parts too (engine).
Me thinks it's a little truth mixed with a little omission to make a juicier headline. It's true that Renault decided not to pursue a fortwo equivalent and dropped their support of that piece of the program, but from everything we've heard they are still neck deep in development of the forfour/Twingo. So, a little truth to the headline to imply something that isn't necessarily true.

I agree that everything is rumor and speculation at this point, but this article does seem to have more specifics than one would associate with pure rumor. The dimensions, engine details, transmission options, rollout timing of the cabrio and electric models, etc. seems to be fairly specific for someone writing on what a friend of a friend of friend that works at MB said. So, there may be some substance to the specs.

However, I do hope the renderings are incorrect. The concepts have looked better.
 

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I'm not sure what to think about the "Renault pulls out" statement since we've known that Renault decided to only pursue the forfour/Twingo venture for a while now. So, that's nothing really newsworthy.

Those who prefer to give the left hoof a rest must spend about €2000 on the new seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox.
Don't think that MB/Renault have gone off the "fiscal cliff" as the spinster (writer) would suggest.

Probably not the slow motion train wreck suggested by the article. Must agree, some fiction some facts but still months away from The Reality.

Hard to imagine that the "upgrade" to the new 7-speed twin-clutch gearbox would cost $2,639 US? :eek:
 

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And the real question to be answered is which engine comes to the states, or do we only get the wimpy one!
If they are going to attract me, it is going to have to be the big turbo, and maybe Brabus will unfrump the design like they did with the present one. One can only hope. :p
 

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-65 85 105 hp ? pure-passion-pulse?
******************************
-2000 quid for the 7-speed is inexcusable.
How much for a pulse cabrio 7-speed?


-no diesel is huge. 500 and iQ got diesels.

-wider car may as well be longer car:badidea::badidea::badidea:
 

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Probably none of those. Concepts only draw inspiration (and cues) for the final product. It's very rare that the final product has elaborate elements from the concepts.

Artist renderings are usually copy and paste jobs of adding concept parts to an existing vehicle. Looks legit but 9/10 the final product won't look like it.

What we can gather though is that smart will pretty much join the LED bandwagon and have them on the outline of the headlamp case and in the tails.
 

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Just my .02, but smart may be painting themselves into a sales corner with the 453 if the numbers are correct.

Increase in CO2 - bad
Increase in size - could be bad if weight and turning circle go up as well. If they don't, could be good except for parking.
No automated manual option - bad. The "take rate" on manuals in the USA is just under 7% so they've limited their market there. Another 2 grand to get the "automatic" is ludicrous for a $13K car (about 15% of the car's base price!)
No mpg numbers yet but if those don't go up what's the point? Numerous cars out there with 38 mpg highway right now so somehow the M-B wizards need to make what looks to be a larger and possibly heavier car get better mpg.
No diesel option - bad. Not for the USA because it doesn't matter here except to the few diesel fanatics, but worldwide I don't see how they can see not offering a diesel version as helping sales.
More power - good. Fingers crossed for a "real" 453 BRABUS for the USA.
Interior update - mixed. Sound like they are keeping the pods and the air vents, but moving to cookie cutter A/C and heater controls (à la the A-Class?)
Steering wheel controls and tablet based display - mixed (have to see if they do a better job than Ford with the SYNCH system.)

Will have to wait and see but IMHO this new model has a 50/50 chance of improving on the 451 (of course, the 450 guys said the same thing about the 451 when it was in the concept stage.) :)
 

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Some of the cues look pretty cool, but overall, i truly hope it is a little more refined. If what we see is coming out, then Smart may be in for a feeding frenzy from the automotive media.
 

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The carbon dioxide only goes up relative to the diesel; since the diesel was never available in the USA, that particular point is totally moot.

99 g/100 km corresponds to a fuel consumption of 4.25 L/100 km, or just over 50 US MPG. Even accounting for the differences between the EC cycle and EPA, I would expect the average consumption of a 99g car in the EPA test to be north of 40 US MPG. So if the 99g is correct, this would be a MASSIVE improvement on the Japanese-powered one.

I suspect that the EC pricing for the dual clutch auto will not translate whatsoever to North America. Firstly, it is a rarely chosen option in Europe, secondly the cost will be inflated there for marketing and taxation reasons (EU prices include 19% sales tax). I expect it will be like the new B-Class Merc in Canada, the ONLY transaxle you can get is the dual clutch auto and there is effectively no cost to it (the new B Class costs exactly the same as the old one with manual transmission).
 
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