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December 17, 2015
By Mario Cywinski

SMART FORTWO IS ALL GROWN UP
Once upon a time not so long ago, when the world was being overrun by larger and larger Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs), Daimler-Benz decided to debut its smart brand. The 1997 Frankfurt International Auto Show was the stage for the introduction of the first smart fortwo. Since its launch, over 770,000 first generation smart fortwo’s were built between 1997 and 2006. The second-generation vehicle was introduced in 2007.

2016 smart fortwo
2016 smart fortwo.
Over the years other variants of the vehicle have been brought to market, including a smart roadster, smart roadster coupe, and smart forfour. Today the smart stable consists of the fortwo coupe, fortwo cabrio, and fortwo electric drive.

Mercedes-Benz Canada took automotive journalists to Portland, Oregon to experience the smart fortwo coupe model and organized a scavenger hunt in and around the city, where the majority of the smart fortwo driving is meant to take place. During the scavenger hunt the smart felt comfortable in the suburban areas of Portland, but it was in the downtown core where the vehicle was right at home. Having to make stops to check in at various locations, the size of the smart made it easy to find a place to park just about anywhere. Making its way through traffic was also a breeze.

2016 smart fortwo
2016 smart fortwo.
The all-new engine and transmission gave the smart more than enough power and the gear-shifts were smooth. The smart fortwo features a new 0.9 litre three-cylinder gasoline turbocharged engine mounted in the rear. It outputs 89 horsepower and 100 foot/pounds of torque, and is mated to either a five-speed manual or six-speed dual clutch transmission.

2016 smart fortwo
2016 smart fortwo.
The new fortwo is 10 centimetre wider then its predecessor giving it a much more aggressive stance. With a completely redesigned exterior, the only part of the vehicle that seems familiar is the signature two tone colour setup allowing for 30 colour combinations. The front fascia is completely different with a new grille (available in three colours, black, white and silver), hood, headlights with standard LED DRLs, lower grille, fog lights; the rear also has a new fascia with new taillights (LED are optional) and roof spoiler with integrated LED brake light.

2016 smart fortwo
2016 smart fortwo.
“Driver safety is a very big concern for Fleet managers and the all new smart comes standard with Bluetooth, Cruise control and Crosswind Assist which will appeal to both fleet managers and drivers,” said Jo-Anne Lamontagne. National Corporate Sales Manager, Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.. “Due to its small size and 6.95 metre turning radius and ability to park just about anywhere, the smart is the perfect fleet solution for companies that are looking for affordable, safe and reliable vehicles to carry out their day-to-day business.”

2016 smart fortwo
2016 smart fortwo.
The interior has been completely redesigned with a new multifunction steering wheel, new instrument cluster that offers a 3.5-inch colour display and trip computer, updated dashboard and HVAC controls. The larger track of the vehicle makes the interior of the smart feel larger than it actually is and provides ample space for two passengers. Three optional upholstery interior combinations are available on fortwo’s three trim levels; on passion (black/grey, black/orange, and black/white), pure comes with a black interior, while prime offers black leather with white stitching or style package interior. Two radio’s are available, each with an optional smartphone cradle. The upgraded radio is a high definition seven-inch TFT touchscreen display with haptic buttons and gesture control, and is available in black or white.

2016 smart fortwo
2016 smart fortwo.
"We are proud that we have been able to make the fortwo with the same length of 2.69 metres even safer and altogether more grown up," Markus Riedel, Head of Development at smart.

Connectivity is a must for most in today’s fast paced world, and smart offers a cross connect app for iPhone and Android phones that allow for in-vehicle and out of vehicle use. The smart fortwo may be a small car but it is loaded with safety features including: standard crosswind assist, alarm system, brake assist, eight air bags, hill start assist, ESP and ABS, belt pre-tensioners, and a reinforced tridion cell. Optional rear view camera, forward collision warning and tire pressure monitoring systems are available. On a vehicle with the stature of the fortwo the crosswind assist feature is most welcome, especially on the highway. It uses ESP sensors to detect if the vehicle is being pushed off course and will employ the brakes to bring the vehicle back in line. The forward collision warning system works in two stages. First it provides a visual warning if it senses the distance to the vehicle in front is becoming unsafe, the second stage is a visual and audio warning that the proximity from the vehicle in front has become critical.

2016 smart fortwo
2016 smart fortwo.
The smart fortwo comes in three trim levels, pure is the basic trim, the medium trim level passion follows and the top of line prime trim level rounds out the offerings. Two option package are available for passion and prime, a touchscreen package and a sport package. The sport package offers a sport suspension (which lowers the vehicle by 10 millimetres), exhaust with chrome tailpipe trim, stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs, three-spoke sports steering wheel with paddles, and 16” black alloy wheels. The touchscreen package adds the 7” display (also adds powered and heated mirrors on passion). The prime model can also be fitted with a style package, which features white/blue leather look fabric on upholstery, blue fabric on dashboard and center panel, 16” alloy wheels, sport suspension, exhaust with chrome tailpipe trim and stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs.






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