by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

SPY: Early test mules for the 2015 smart fortwo and forfour spotted in Germany

You would be tempted to say this is a Renault Twingo mule for a testing a future model of the constructor, but you couldn't be wronger than that. In fact, these are the very first spy shots that depict the next generation of the smart fortwo and forfour, both planned to be released during the course of 2014. The 4-seater has more potential nowadays and thus returns in the portfolio of the company, as CEO Dr. Annette Winkler confirmed recently. The development of the vehicles is still in a very early phase, so the final design is yet to be approved and this is the main argument of Daimler engineers for using an lightly camouflaged "outer shell" from its French partner to protect the new underpinnings.

The strategic partnership the two carmakers agreed upon and officially signed in April 2012 aims to reduce overall production costs through co-developing of new engines, new technologies, new cars and sharing of hidden components. Both the future fortwo and the forfour models will use a brand new chassis with real-wheel-drive traction (to also underpin the third generation Twingo, due in 2014, and a new mini-sized Nissan as well) to free the front axle of additional weight and improve agility. By principle, the newly developed engines, running on diesel or gasoline, will have a 3-cylinder architecture, a total displacement of 1.0 litre and below and be programmed to offer a comfortable and efficient ride, with very low CO2 emissions and unbeatable fuel economy numbers. More sophisticated assistance systems, a lighter construction and an unprecedented array of safety measures are also slated to debut in the forthcoming generations of the smart fortwo and forfour. Electric drive shall also be available right after the models arrive on the market.

The design will be inspired by the latest concepts smart has brought in the last years. Most probably, the fortwo coupe version will resemble the styling of the forvision concept, while the fortwo cabrio variant will follow the trail of the forspeED prototype. The forfour will too feature smart's new styling philosophy and combine several elements from the for-us showcar as well, besides the ones indicated previously. Thanks a longer wheelbase for the fortwo, there will be plenty of room inside 2-seater, more than in the current model. Apart from that, the interiors will have a premium touch thanks to the upscale materials that will be used and the general assembly quality well-known from Mercedes-Benz.

The new smart forfour will be revealed during summer 2014, while its smaller brother will arrive some months later, towards the end of the year. New additions to the lineup are also possible in 2015 and 2016, including a door-less Crossblade model and a leisure crossover. The entry price tag for the two new smart cars will gravitate around the 15,000 euros value, with extra optionals raising the challenge.

Note: The standard Renault Twingo mule is used to test the smart forfour, while the short wheelbase mule is used to disguise the smart fortwo.

Image Credits: Motor Authority

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