Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Paris 2012: Smart Forstars concept

Stuck in traffic? Found an epic YouTube of a cat skateboarding to a banging grimecore soundtrack? Dying to project it on the back doors of the white van in front? Well, in response to this oh-so-common urban problem, Smart presents the Forstars concept. This chubby little urban concept car has a video projector in the nostril, and giant outdoor speakers in the vents behind the doors.
OK, like you we suspect that this isn't really an answer to a crying unmet need.
But the Forstars does have another purpose. Shrink the wheels, strip away the concept tinsel, and here's your next Smart Fortwo. This concept was unveiled at the Paris Show, and it previews a production car that goes on sale in 2013.
In place of those side speaker grilles, the production car will get air-intakes for its rear-mounted engine. That's a new three-cylinder that Mercedes/Smart is co-developing with Renault. The concept instead has an 80bhp electric motor.
The Renault connection isn't just for the engine. The new Smart will use a platform that Mercedes is jointly developing with Renault. Smart will do a two seater to replace the Fortwo. Both Renault and Smart will do longer four-seaters.
Which is intriguing because it means both the next Smart Forfour and the next Renault Twingo will be rear-engined.

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