German publication Auto Zeitung has published renderings of the next generation Smart ForFour which is set to compete with the Volkswagen Up! and the Fiat 500. Codenamed W453, the vehicle is developed in cooperation with Renault, and the product shares its architecture with the next gen Renault Twingo.
Typical to Smart, the next gen ForFour is a stretched ForTwo with short overhangs, wider wheels and muscular rear wings. It measures 3.5 meters long, and the magazine learns that sales would commence in November 2014.
The rear-engined four-seater would draw design inspiration from the Fourjoy concept which was revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show three months ago. The Fourjoy was based on the aluminium Tridion cell chassis, and featured LED daytime running lights, futuristic front seats and a honeycomb dashboard. The car's wider footprint would bring extra stability during lane changes and help it carry more speed into corners.
While power for the concept was extracted from a 74 bhp electric motor that ran on L-Ion batteries, the production version would also get conventional powertrains. A 1.0L direct-injected petrol engine developed jointly by the two companies would be used on the vehicle in naturally aspirated (70 bhp) and turbocharged (85 bhp) guises. A six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission would perform the gear changes.
According to claims made by other web reports, the bigger Smart would be made in Slovenia, with battery technology for the EV variant coming from Tesla Motors.