by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

SPY: Future smart models scooped in Northern Scandinavia

The 2015 generations of the smart fortwo and fortwo+2 has been undergoing road development since late summer 2012. As the outer shell is yet to be stylistically defined, the prototypes are still wearing Renault Twingo clothes. But to some trained eye, the differently visible proportions and the modified body panels indicate we are dealing with a smart.

The forthcoming fortwo will be launched next year, with the official premiere prone for Paris Motor Show 2014. The new rear-wheel-drive platform is shared with the next generation Renault Twingo and is also designed to accomodate a new range of 3-cylinder diesel and gasoline engines ranging in output from 64 hp to 104 hp (the latter uses turbocharging to boost power).

Moreover, the new powertrain offers a smooth integration of Daimler's state-of-the-art Tridion* safety cell, that increases security levels aboard this city car. In addition, the forfour will be revived as a new 4-door smart entitled fortwo+2 will join the 2-door model. It adds extra centimeters but it also increases practicality and passenger comfort due to the enlarged interior space.

The quality will be superior to the current models in every aspect and especially inside, where the carefully chosen materials and the pleasant colour tones will ensure a premium atmosphere. Most of the assistance systems on board the future smart models will be adapted starting from the existing ones seen on Mercedes-Benz models.

A recent report indicates the range-topping gasoline powerplant will develop around 150 hp of maximum output and deliver a consistent torque curve using a 3-cylinder layout and additional turbocharging technology. It should also power a high-end fortwo+2 variant, as well as the 2015 smart cabrio and smart SUV.

The partnered development with Renault means overall costs should be lower and so the pricing for each version of the new smart city models. As it is still early for some specific values, it is worth saying we shall get rid of Twingo test mules in the next months, as summer is approaching quickly - right in time for the finished, 'frozen design' body test prototypes.

Some interesting facts about the Tridion safety cell:

- The tridion safety cell protects its occupants like the hard shell around a nut. Its structure is additionally reinforced with high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel at strategically important points (more than 50 percent).

- The tridion safety cell’s longitudinal and transverse members activate the crumple zone of the other vehicle involved in the accident and distribute the impact energy evenly over the car’s body.

- And in case of a collision, the wheels also take on the function of crumple zones. When this happens, the front wheels are supported by the side members.

- The rear-mounted engine enables a larger crumple zone at the front and acts as a shock-absorbing unit that absorbs the impact energy in a rebound.

- Thanks to the sandwich-type construction of the tridion safety cell, the passengers are usually somewhat above the direct danger zone in the event of a side impact. Further, in the case of a side impact, the other vehicle almost always hits an axle that can absorb impact energy due to the relatively short wheelbase.

- All interior trims have been optimised to prevent injuries to occupants. And the soft foam-backed lower instrument panel (knee pad) offers protection for the passengers' knees and lower legs.

- The door structure is reinforced by high-strength sheet metal at key points.

Related articles:

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

- REPORT: Future smart lineup to include cabriolet and crossover offerings

Image Credits: WorldCarFans / Autoevolution

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