New Smart line-up for 2014
* Daimler boss confirms new model plans * Roadster and coupe will follow new Fortwo * Rear-engined layout will remain...
Daimler will launch a new Smart Fortwo model next year, the first of an entirely new range of cars that will herald a rejuvenation of the brand.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz, said that the new Smart 'will remain rear-engined, setting us apart from the competition and allowing us to keep the best compromise of an extremely short wheelbase and good interior space'.
Zetsche also said: 'There will be a four-seater model, and a two-seat roadster and coupe, all of which share a common platform and will also be rear-engined.'
All the new cars will be available with both electric and standard combustion engines, with the 'possibility' of a new, small-capacity turbocharged motor in the future.
Smart has struggled to establish itself since its launch in 1998. However, Zetsche has described the new model strategy as 'an evolution of the brand, rather than a revolution'. 'Demand for the Smart Fortwo is still good,' he told What Car?. 'It has been a success and we want to stick to the same principles.'
All the Smart models will be focused on an urban audience, so expect the new models to be compact, lightweight cars that will get a modern interpretation of the quirky design language of current and historic Smart models.