Daimler does Smart deal with Renault-Nissan

February 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Daimler has struck a deal with Renault-Nissan to co-develop and build the next-generation Smart models, according to Automobile magazine. The new Fortwo, scheduled for launch in 2014, will have Renault and Nissan sister models with differentiated styling, detailing and marketing.

The Fortwo will retain its rear-engined, rear-wheel drive layout, says Automobile, and the safety cell structural concept with composite body panels. However, this generation of Fortwo will be engineered from scratch  to support an electric-drive powertrain in production-line models; the Renault system, to feature in the upcoming ‘ZE’ models already confirmed for launch, will be fitted. A new-generation of petrol engines will also be co-developed; a 1.0-litre, direct-injection three-cylinder turbo, and later, 1.3- and 1.5-four-cylinders. No word yet on a diesel.

There could be four different body styles between the brands; as well as two-seater coupe and cabriolet models, as in the current Fortwo range, a four-seat ForFour (on the same platform, this time around) and even a ForMore mini-MPV are said to be under consideration.

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