Introducing Smart Fortwo and Forfour
The new versions of a cult car
Text and pictures: Reino Laukkanen
10th of Dec. 2014
Smart Proxy, on the street corner.
 The new models of Smart, Fortwo and Forfour, came to be test driven for the press in the beginning of December 2014. It was a brief meeting with just a few kilometers on the road. The weather was excellent for testing the crosswind assistant. The wind made itself very much aware.
 The first one was a patriotically colored (in Finland) Proxy-model. The car shook significantly on cobblestone roads. We can account this to the Sport-package which is standard for Proxy. It lowers the ground clearance by 10 millimeters together with an obvious stiffening of the suspension. This phenomenon is not unheard of in the Passion-version either. The Forfour was nevertheless more relaxed to drive than the Fortwo thanks to the longer wheelbase.
 My history teacher told me a long time ago that cobblestone roads belong to the city. Smart itself is designed especially for the city. Your body tells you when these two things befall. Or then you just have to drive more slowly and gather other drivers behind you.
 Rock ´n´Roll
 The engine gives power and torque on such a wide range of revolutions that the car could be mistaken as equipped with an automatic gearbox. If you manage to stall the car by shifting a wrong gear, no worries, the motor will start without hesitating thanks to the stop-start system. On uphill roads you will be helped by the hill start assist. With these assists Smart will save the driver the embarrassment.
 In the first place the stop-start –system is planned to turn off the motor when the car is about to stop. Unexpected drivers will get scared and press the clutch pedal and the motor will start again. At that moment you can notice how the motor shakes the car while idling. The same phenomenon is observable with both models.
 Starting the Forfour´s while standing still caused a resonating sound coming from the B-pillar. Then one word came to my mind: Slovenia; the country where Forfour is made. Did my prejudices take over me?
Smart in the harbour.
 More agile
 The turning circle of the new Forfour is the same as that of the previous Fortwo. Even though front wheel driven, these Smarts could be more agile than longer cars. In Smarts, drive shafts don´t prevent turning the front wheels, so rear-wheel drive helps also small cars.
 There is a significant change in the proportions of the platform compared to the previous version. While the platform used previously reminded one of a go-kart with wider track in rear wheels, the situation is different now. Track width increased in the front 18,6 centimeters and in the rear 4,5 centimeters. The end result makes the wheels now 3,9 centimeters more apart from each other in the front than the rear.
The old and new Smart.
 Smart, the new 2CV
 Smart will get many kinds of applications for the smartphone. (In English you may find the difference between those things. What a clever way of naming the car! I don’t like the Newspeak proposed by Smart manufacturers in which the names of Smart and it´s models should be written with a small first letter.) One idea is to send other Smart drivers information about suitable parking spaces. Considering the small amount of Smarts in Finland’s car population that won´t help much in Finland. Maybe the Smart drivers will become a tribe in the same way as those driving with a Citroën 2CV.
 The help and fun of a smartphone could not be tested because applications will be available first in the year 2015.
 A car from internet
 Smart can be bought via internet. For the moment you can´t being customize the car, only ready-made models are available. The car will be given from the car dealer. An official statement was given saying “…we did not want to decide what the world wants; the service will be made better through the feedback from the public”.
The Smart Proxy cockpit.
 Smart for the senior citizens
 Could Smart be a means of travelling for elder people? After the kids have left the house there is less need for transporting. If the retirees want to live in the city, their travelling needs can be solved, alongside public transportation, by some small vehicle.
 The benefits of Smarts are a greater selection of parking spaces and better performance as a proper car compared to micro cars. (EU-directive L6e.)
 This said, there are weaknesses to consider. Getting the safety belt from far away behind is troublesome. There are Mercedes-Benz cars that stretch out the safety belt, why not do the same with Smarts? The car also vibrates on cobblestone roads.
 Anyway, due to its strong tridion cell and numerous assistance systems, it will outperform any micro car in safety. To driving license owners, don’t even consider getting a micro car.
The Smart Passion cockpit.
 Smart for teenagers
 Currently Finnish law doesn´t allow modifying Smarts by decreasing the performance to become L6e-class. The lobbyists for micro cars in EU have a stronger hold than those of the Mercedes-Benz ones. The highest priced used micro cars cost more than new Smarts. When the teenager grows old enough to get a driver´s license he/she could continue driving with a Smart converted back a proper car.
The upholstery of Smart.
 Carefully inside
 The upholstery inside raises suspicions. The users must be cautious with smoothies and fast food. If something like that falls down on the upholstery and stays long enough to become absorbed, it is practically impossible to be cleaned.
 About the transporting capacity
 Hopefully the transporting capacity of Smart is not calculated by the way Smart is loaded in the presentation videos seen in the Smart internet pages. The driver can´t see to the right because a cardboard box prevents it. Kts. video.
 Smart on the internet:

Official web site (It´s the Finnish site, but you can change the country in the bottom of the page).
Smart from 2007, in Finnish.
The new Smart Fortwo compared to the predecessors:
Length mm
Wheel base mm
Width mm
Height mm
Luggage comp. cap. l
Weight kg
Motors kW
Top speed km/h
37/45/55 (Brabus)
135/150 (Brabus)
45/55/62/72 (Brabus)
145/155 (Brabus)
*Permissible total weight in kg.
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Studio LUMI
Pictures, text and web site Copyright Reino Laukkanen, Studio LUMI.