By on June 11, 2015

2016 smart fortwo (47)

Those hoping for a Smart crossover/SUV to hit showrooms will be waiting for a while, as there are no near-term plans to expand beyond the city car market.

During the 2015 Automotive News Europe Congress, Smart CEO Annette Winkler said a crossover or SUV would not be joining the ForTwo and ForFour city cars anytime soon, Automotive News Europe reports, before adding such a vehicle could come in time.

Fans of the Smart Roadster will be disappointed, however, as Winkler dashed any hopes of a revival due to the roadster segment being too small to be profitable for a Smart-branded entry.

Regarding the ForFour, underpinned by the architecture found in the Renault Twingo, Winkler said the partnership between Smart and Renault created “enormous economies of scale” for the parties involved. She proclaimed the ForFour was the more premium of the two because of higher-quality interior components in the former.

Parent company Daimler AG says Smart is due for “significant” growth this year, thanks to help of new features such as the optional Twinamic six-speed dual-clutch transmission, replacing the oft-maligned automated manual which sacrificed smooth shifts for greater fuel economy.

Said Twinamic will likely appear in the U.S.- and China-bound ForTwo later this year, as well. Winkler explained her company wanted to wait to deliver the two-seater city car to those markets until the new transmission was available “since premium customers want the level of comfort offered by Twinamic.” The ForTwo will head east to China in August, then cross the Atlantic for U.S. deliveries starting this fall; the ForFour will not make the westbound trip.

[Photo credit: Smart]

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10 Comments on “Winkler: Smart Crossover Not Planned In The Near-Term...”


  • avatar
    daver277

    Thank God….
    The Mini crossed over into something bigger than our Chev Tracker.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Those hoping for a Smart”

    Eight people.

    “crossover/SUV”

    One people.

    Lol, Smart is in almost a bad a place as Alfa, except they actually have real product.

  • avatar

    The ONE thing the “Smart” has going for it is it is just about the shortest thing you can drive. Once in a while you can find a parking spot that a B segment car wouldn’t fit in. Once you add 6″ to 12″ in length, you might as well buy a Fit, Versa, or spring for a base Fiesta, right? I need to ask because I might be blinded by my hatred for these cars and their inappropriate name.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Those cars are all about 160″, while a smart is 106″. The real value is being able to make your own parking out of oddball spaces that won’t fit a “regular” car.

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    Yeah, because putting a car on stilts and charging a premium in the hottest segment is not what we want to do…

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      This! Just lift it and give it a tall, boxy greenhouse!

      A roundabout way of getting a kei wagon in the US while tapping the cute ute trend :-D

      Great minds think alike.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I wonder if that’s code for “we have to work hard enough to make it pass the Moose test without raising the CoG several inches.”

  • avatar

    “…the oft-maligned automated manual which sacrificed smooth shifts for greater fuel economy.”

    Well, they did a good job at that, didn’t they?

    Only car I’ve ever driven that combined the shift quality of an ’05 Pacifica that’s been lugging around an overweight family of six and a 24′ bay boat for 172k miles with the fuel economy and price of a Versa, which is significantly less-embarrassing to drive.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    What a stupid thing to do…

    Let me say first that I understand and share the dislike that readers of this website have for CUVs. My comments, however, are strictly about the business side of this. There isn’t a single CUV that I can think of in the US market that is a failure from a selling standpoint. Even that damn Jeep Cherokee sells very well. Heck, the Chevy Equinox has been on the market, nearly unchanged, since late 2009 but sales have actually been increasing this year.

    CUVs are almost the crack cocaine of the automotive market. Dealers don’t sell them, they just offer them. They sell themselves. An OEM like Smart doesn’t seem to get that. They haven’t exactly been tearing it up in the US market from a sales perspective. A CUV is probably the kind of winner they need to get a good foothold.

    This guys comments just tell me that he doesn’t know WTF he’s doing. The new Smart cars look, and probably drive, a lot better than the 1st gen cars but they are never going to be more than a niche player.


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