After several weeks of clever marketing, tongue-in-cheek satire and countless spyshots, Daimler has officially unveiled the next-generation 2016 Smart ForTwo two-seat and re-imagined 2016 Smart ForFour four-seat city cars.
Evolving everything that was good about the original Smart Car — now fifteen years old — and discarding everything that made it and subsequent generations less of a joy to drive, Smart says the new ForTwo and ForFour cars will be as nimble, able, and economical as the generations which came before.
But while buyers will be able to get their hands on gasoline versions of the all-new 2016 Smart ForTwo this autumn, those who prefer their drivetrains a little more electrified will have to wait a few more years, or be content with the same generation Smart ForTwo Electric Drive we’ve reviewed below.
That’s according to AutoExpress, which says that two out of the three Smart internal combustion engine choices — a 1.0-litre, 70 horsepower unit and a 900cc turbo-charged 89 horsepower engine — will be available for launch, followed shortly thereafter by a 59 horsepower petrol engine.
In the UK, because each engine choice promises more than 70 mpg and under 90 grams of CO2 per kilometre, it’s likely all three will placed in the “A band” vehicle exercise duty class — traditionally called ‘road tax’ — meaning owners, like plug-in drivers, won’t have to pay any road tax.
With all three internal combustion engine choices available shortly after launch however, AutoExpress says Smart will continue to sell the existing Smart ForTwo Electric Drive alongside the next generation model. The transition of an all-electric drivetrain to the new model is something that could take several years, it hints, coming after the release of a soft-top Cabriolet model.
In other words, the Electric Drive variant isn’t a top priority for Daimler. Given the fact that Daimler relies heavily on Tesla for its other electric cars, that’s hardly a surprise — but consider that Daimler developed the new Smart ForTwo as part of a brand-new platform jointly developed with Renault for its new Twingo city car, and you might be left scratching your head.
Despite Renault’s pro-electric car stance and multiple electric car offerings however, it appears neither Renault or Daimler are convinced that an electric Smart ForTwo or Renault Twingo is a top priority for young urbanites looking for a funky, efficient car to navigate the urban jungle.
And that, we think, is just a little disappointing, especially when the current generation Smart ForTwo is the best Smart Car we’ve ever driven.
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