Jumat, 06 September 2013

New Concept Car: Smart Fourjoy

Smart isn’t giving up just yet. The brand is starving for new product, still dependent on the Fortwo—in its second generation of existence—for sales numbers and market legitimacy. But it won’t be long until Smart rolls out an entirely new generation of model that’s been co-developed by Renault—one of parent company Daimler’s partners—that will alleviate such pressure. The Fourjoy concept, unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show, provides us with an informative glimpse of the future of Smart cars. 

When it was launched in 1998, Smart set out to revolutionize city driving. It wasn’t just a car, but so much more (or less, depending on your point of view): It was a mobility concept that was supposed to offer special parking spots, interchangeable body panels that could be swapped out with ease, and some time in larger Mercedes vehicles when necessary. But alas, none of it flew with customers; they wanted to buy a car—not a "mobility concept." 

Future Smarts, which will share platforms with the next-generation Renault Twingo, should resolve some of the issues presented by the first two generations of Fortwo. Primarily, the next-gen Smarts will be offered with a choice of two or four doors—the four-door is previewed by this Fourjoy concept. Daimler is keeping technical details a secret for now, but we know that the next Smart will maintain its rear-engine layout. The concept is fitted with a 74-hp permanent-magnet electric motor and a 17.6-kWh battery pack—the powertrain fitted in today’s Fortwo Electric Drive. Filling the Fourjoy with juice takes "a maximum of seven hours in most countries" when plugged into a household socket—we expect our 120-volt outlets will increase charge times. The majority of Smarts, we can safely assume, will continue to be sold with gasoline engines. 

Thanks to: Car and Driver

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