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Woohoo! New smarts!

Autocar - Smart three-seater revealed

Mercedes-Benz is developing a highly flexible three-seat Smart. The plans, revealed in a series of patent drawings over several weeks and seen by Autocar, underline Mercedes' determination to build on its limited line-up of dedicated city cars. Mercedes is reacting to increased competition from Toyota in the form of the iQ and the impending arrival of similar urban-based offerings from premium rivals Audi and BMW. The new interior draws heavily on that used by McLaren in its mould-breaking F1 supercar, sitting the driver’s seat centrally up front with a pair of passenger seats set further back on either side of the cabin – an arrangement made possible by the retention of the rear-engined platform design used by today’s Smart Fortwo.

The low-slung three-seater has been conceived as a sportier alternative to Smart’s upright second-generation Fortwo, with accommodation for up to three, along with limited boot space at the rear. Nothing’s official at this stage, but Mercedes-Benz insiders contacted by Autocar suggest the new car could take the name 'Forthree' into showrooms by 2014 as part of plans to extend the Smart line-up into a complete range of models by the middle of the next decade.

The three-seat cabin incorporates a number of innovations aimed at solving the inherent problems in such a layout, including the long stretch upon entering and exiting the cabin. Among them is a swivelling seat base as well as a transverse runner within the floor that allows the driver’s seat to be adjusted out towards the door. Patent application sketches obtained by Autocar also reveal a complex seatbelt arrangement for the driver.

Also in the pipeline is a new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Both are planned to make an appearance in the third-generation A-class, due out in 2011, before making their way into other Mercedes-Benz models, including those from Smart.



 

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A three seat car would eliminate the need for all the variations from Right hand and Left Hand drive cars.

But it would not make a good date car.
 

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Imagine the ringing in the ears after the driver of a Forthree has those airbags deploy!
 

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The crude roadster sketch is not too convincing.....though I don't doubt something like this is in the works.
 

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I realy dont care how many seat are offered in a roadster, if the build it, I WILL BUY IT!... the roadster is one of the few reasons I would trade in my smarty....
 

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tis a pity the importer for MB here in the US is concerned with upsetting the cash cows ah customers and bring in the A class cars.
karl
 
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