by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

REPORT: Future smart lineup to include cabriolet and crossover offerings

The forthcoming generation of smart models will start coming out towards the end of next year. Apart from the standard fortwo and fortwo+2 choices, the mini-class brand of Daimler AG will make room for two niche versions that are expected to sell like hot cakes: an open-top and a crossover.

As you happen to already know, Mercedes-Benz has partnered Renault to write the next chapter in the smart story. A new rear-drive platform perfectly fitted for shared use under both the future Twingo and the new smart two-door/four-door models is currently in advanced stages of development. This means the future smart and Renault mini models will also share a series of specially developed, 3-cylinder petrol and diesel engines featuring low displacement and extraordinary efficiency, as well as special transmission systems.

Sticking to our topic, the cabriolet and the compact "SUV" under the smart brand are slated to be unleashed in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The future convertible will be inspired by the for-us study presented at Detroit and Geneva in 2012, while the other will follow the trails of the forstars concept showcased last year at Paris.

The street-legal products will be very similar in terms of styling to the show-bound cars and will boast smart's brand new design philosophy. The perforated grille and the tubular LED lights will be present trademarks on the future models. While the smart cabrio displays a two-door architecture and a lowered ride height for more dynamism, the smart "SUV" will boast larger proportions similar to those of Nissan Juke (whom it will supposedly share a modified powertrain with), four doors and a bespoke 4x4 traction system, offered as an option on high-end variants. Besides the standard version, a sporty 3-door smart SUV with fun factor and resembling the forstars concept car is also very likely to be greenlighted for serial production.

Note: smart forstars and smart for-us pictured.

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