Smart Forfour

Carpedia

May 04th, 2022

Smart Forfour

While the original Smart Fortwo didn't compromise manoeuvrability and was the perfect small city car, the Forfour model brought a couple of compromises. 

It is notably bigger and features a different layout, probably making it less special. Still, it is undoubtedly a car with many good things to offer, especially if we consider that it uses technology from renowned car companies.

There are two generations of the Smart Forfour hatchback. The original model was in production between 2004 and 2006 and heavily based on Mitsubishi Colt. The second generation came in 2014, using Renault's technology that included an all-electric powertrain.

The First Generation of Smart Forfour (2004-2006)

After a couple of pretty good years for the original Fortwo, Smart decided that it was time to add another model to the lineup. Their goal was to offer a vehicle that provided a second row of seats but kept very compact dimensions. 

However, this model was nowhere near the original Fortwo in terms of popularity, so the production lasted only a couple of years (2004-2006).

Design

Curiously, the first generation of Smart Forfour didn’t have many things in common with the Fortwo model. The original platform wasn't modular enough to underpin a notably bigger vehicle, and unfortunately, the company didn't have the time and resources to develop a new architecture. 

What they did was cooperate with the Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi, which provided pretty much everything except for the exterior and interior design. The platform, chassis, suspension, brakes, and engines were all shared with the Mitsubishi Colt.


Smart's new model is based on Mitsubishi's Z platform, which had brought a lot of exciting novelties at the time, including an entirely new lineup of MIVEC petrol engines. As mentioned, Smart Forfour’s chassis and suspension setup were completely the same. 

It came with a typical McPherson strut with springs, while the rear end was equipped with a torsion bar. The rear wheels are fitted with disc brakes, while the front brakes feature ventilated discs.

Dimensions

Even in size and dimensions, the first-generation Smart Forfour is almost identical to its Mitsubishi twin. The wheelbase is the same. The distance between the axles is 2493mm, overall length is 3750mm, width is 1684mm, and height is 1460mm. The lightest version weighs 1,000kg.

Smart Forfour Dimensions

  • Wheelbase: 2493mm
  • Length: 3752mm
  • Height: 1460mm
  • Width: 1684mm
  • Ground clearance: 119mm
  • Kerb weight: 1003-1012kg
  • Turning circle: 10.5m
  • Rear track: 1445mm
  • Front track: 1460mm

Engines

Mitsubishi provided the complete powertrain lineup, including two engine and transmission options for Australia. Base models feature a 1.3-litre inline-four engine (70kW, 125 Nm), while a more powerful 1.5-litre inline-four unit (80kW, 145Nm) was also an option.

Both engines were available with either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. 

Of course, versions with manual transmission are faster, where the model with a 1.3-litre engine needs 11 seconds to hit 100 km/h, while the model with a bigger engine is a second faster. On the other hand, the base engine offers a slightly better fuel economy at 6L/100km.

Smart Forfour 1.3L Engine Specs

  • Engine Capacity: 1332cc
  • Number of cylinders: 4cyl
  • Fuel type: Premium Unleaded Petrol
  • Maximum torque: 125Nm
  • Maximum power: 70kW
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual; 6-speed automatic
  • Acceleration (0-100km/h): 10.8s (manual); 12s (automatic)
  • Fuel consumption: 6.2L/100km (combined)

Smart Forfour 1.5L Engine Specs

  • Engine Capacity: 1499cc
  • Number of cylinders: 4cyl
  • Fuel type: Premium Unleaded Petrol
  • Maximum torque: 145Nm
  • Maximum power: 80kW
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual; 6-speed automatic
  • Acceleration (0-100km/h): 9.8s (manual); 11.5s (automatic)
  • Fuel consumption: 6.5L/100km (combined)

Smart Forfour Brabus

The company also introduced a version tuned by Brabus for the final production year. The famous tuner did several interesting modifications, both in terms of mechanics and aesthetics, but the biggest upgrade was a new engine. 

We saw a turbocharged version of the 1.5-litre engine, with a max output of 130kW and a max torque of 230Nm. That was enough to provide a top speed of 221km/h, while the car needs less than 7 seconds to hit 100km/h.

The Second Generation of Smart Forfour (2014-present)

After eight years of break, the second generation was finally introduced in 2014. Once again, Smart engineers joined forces with another carmaker, Renault. This cooperation brought a lot of benefits for the company and this model, especially in terms of electrification, which happened three years later.

Design

The joint venture with Renault produced the second generation of Smart Forfour, which shared 70% of its parts with the third-generation Twingo, including the chassis setup. Consequently, production was moved from the Netherlands to Renault’s assembly in Slovenia.

This generation mainly differs from its previous version in the base layout, which features a rear-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive. It has Twingo’s chassis setup and an independent suspension with McPherson strut and stabilizer bar in the front and an independent suspension in the rear.

Things don’t differ so much from the first-generation model when it comes to brakes—front ventilated discs and classic discs on the rear wheels.

Dimensions

We live in a world where cars are getting bigger and bigger, but interestingly, this model went in a different direction. The second generation is smaller compared to the original Smart Forfour. It features a 2494mm wheelbase, 3495mm total length, 1665mm width, and 1554mm height. The kerb weight is 920kg or more, depending on the version you pick.

Smart Forfour Dimensions

  • Wheelbase: 2494 mm
  • Length: 3495 mm
  • Width: 1665 mm
  • Height: 1554 mm
  • Turning Circle: 8.56m
  • Front track: 1467 mm
  • Rear track: 1429 mm
  • Kerb Weight: 920 kg or more

Engines

The initial version was offered with two powertrain options. Base models feature a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine (53kW, 91Nm). That's notably less power than the base 1.3-litre engine from the previous generation, so it's no wonder that this model needs more than 15 seconds to reach 100km/h. 

The standard version comes with a 5-speed manual, while a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission is available too.

Things are a little bit better with the optional 0.9-litre turbo three-cylinder engine, which puts out 67kW and 135Nm of torque. In this case, the second-generation Smart Forfour needs around 11 seconds to hit 100km/h, while the top speed is 165km/h. 

Once again, you can choose between a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Smart Forfour Brabus

In 2016, the company also introduced the Brabus version. Despite the more attractive layout that includes a rear engine and rear-wheel drive, the second generation Forfour Brabus is nowhere near the original model in terms of performance. 

It comes with a 0.9-litre turbo three-cylinder engine, which features a max output of 81Kw and 175Nm of torque, enough for no less than 10.5 seconds for a 0-100 sprint. The top speed goes around 180km/h.

Smart Forfour Electric

A significant change happened in 2017 when the internal-combustion engines were replaced with a battery and electric motor. The new setup included a single electric motor on the rear axle, with a max output of 60kW and a 17.2-kWh battery pack. 

Smart Forfour Electric needs around 12 seconds to reach 100km/h, while the top speed is 150 km/h. On the other hand, the max range per WLTP goes around 130km. Interestingly, Smart Forfour Electric is 225kg heavier than models with petrol engines.

Who makes Smart Forfour engines?

The first-generation Smart Forfour uses Mitsubishi engines. These are four-cylinder engines, pretty smooth and capable, not to mention that Mitsubishi engines are generally known for reliability and longevity. 

On the other hand, the second-generation Smart Forfour engines are provided by Renault. They aren’t as impressive as the ones from Mitsubishi, whether we’re talking about power delivery or refinement. However, these engines are smaller and provide better fuel economy.

Interested in selling your small hatchback? We can help you get the best Smart Forfour price. All you need to do is register on our website and advertise your used car for sale.


By Nebojsa Grmusa