What would you like in the next generation fortwo?

The car is on its way, being developed on a shared Daimler/Renault chassis.  What features would you like to see on the new fortwo, and what do you NOT want to see?

For me:

1. Keep it small, light and uniquely styled.

2. A speedometer that is marked in both mph and kph.

3. Adjustable steering wheel.

4. Add a rear fog light (as on the current EU models)

5. Improved heater and A/C.

6. Keep the removable body panels.

7. Replace the Makralon material in the panoramic roof.

8. Six speed transmission.

9. At least 50 mpg on the highway.

10. Improve the ride over bumps and ruts.

Don't:

1. Make it larger, plusher and more expensive.

2. Add a bunch of expensive creature comfort gizmos.

3. Change any of the electronic safety features.

4. Remove any of the Mercedes-Benz quirks.

5. Eliminate the dash mounted pods - those are smart icons.

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for non-winter, i have 15x6 wheels and 195/50-15 tires all around (the tires are great for everything but snow, i put on the stock wheels/tires last month, i may replace the tires with all weather tires next year) the ride is better with fatter tires, fuel economy sucks a bit with them, wheel/tire combo weighs 36 pounds each.

a clutch pedal and a regular manual tranny would be nice. the ability to disable ESP with one button would be nice, especially in the snow belt, you need long fingers and the "secret handshake" to disable ESP now, i will make a video of my smart doing donuts, next time we get enough snow, it'll be slow motion and i'll post it :)

i like the ESP when climbing hills of snow, just floor it and steer straight and enjoy the light show of the triangle.

i have the first pure in IL, so most of all "KISS" (Keep It Simple Stupid) after 4 years, the only change i'd make is power windows (i got a pure). i usually buy a new car every 10 years, so i have 6 years before a planned purchase, barring an accident. i'd also like an under seat storage area, some way to carry something 4 feet long.

otherwise, i really love the smart, it'll be 4 years next week (1/21/08).

I'd like to see a return of the automated manual transmission.  The dual-clutch packs will be a lovely improvement, although there was nothing wrong with the transmission in the 2008 to 2012 models as they are.  Drivers should be willing to adapt and improve their driving styles so they can utilize the benefits the automated manual transmission provides. 

Keep the same length, there's nothing wrong with the small package.

Couple other things to add:

- A collapsible compact spare tire (could be an extra cost option if there is room to stow it, behind a seat?). Maybe there would be a way to use the air injection pump that runs first thing after starting the engine to inflate the spare tire (or pressurized can of CO2) instead of having an extra air compressor. Of course, we'd need a compact jack and lug wrench stowed inside the spare's rim.

- Digital gauge pods for the dash top that could show various gauges by cycling though the options (RPM, Time, Temp, Oil Pressure, Voltage, Real Time MPG, Outside Temp, etc.). Make them plug and play so they're easy to install/remove.

- Remote system updating for the car. Let me download the latest updates from a website for the infotainment system, ECU, TCU, etc. and have the car update itself. (Kia does this for their UVO system now.)

The next Generation Smart needs to have better mileage.  Not because it is bad but people seem to expect that such a small car should get better than Hybrid mileage.  The diesel mileage is great, but with the cost of diesel being so much higher than gas, I am afraid a lot of potential buyers would be turned off.

The transmission needs to work better in automated mode.  Shifts are too abrupt in the lower gears. The transmission works great in manual mode.

The Ride needs to be softened. Any sort of abrupt bump is transmitted violently into the car.  The problem seems to be the stiffness at the front of the car.  It doesn't need to float like a Buick but on our deteriorating roads it needs to be softer to prevent the loss of control.

Any improvements that are made need to be done in away that does not dramatically change the character of the car or increase its cost.

 

I hear you, but I respectfully disagree.  If the front end suspension gets any softer, the smart car will lose steering crispness and accuracy and as such will float around during "quick" lane changes like the 500 does.  Some people may like that softness, but if I'm a tiny car nearly the same size as a motorcycle, I want it to change directions swiftly like one.  I don't want a small car that imitates larger and softer sedans. 

IMO, the 500 steering is extremely numb and there's no way I would floss my way through traffic at highway speeds when the steering accuracy is numbed down the way it is.  I've tossed around much larger vehicles with more confidence.  With the smart, in particular the Pure, the steering accuracy, crispness, and direct feel couldn't be any better.  And with that, comes the side effect of stiffer suspension, but the benefit of immediate, communicative, and accurate steering feel and response.

 


Steven Clary said:

The next Generation Smart needs to have better mileage.  Not because it is bad but people seem to expect that such a small car should get better than Hybrid mileage.  The diesel mileage is great, but with the cost of diesel being so much higher than gas, I am afraid a lot of potential buyers would be turned off.

The transmission needs to work better in automated mode.  Shifts are too abrupt in the lower gears. The transmission works great in manual mode.

The Ride needs to be softened. Any sort of abrupt bump is transmitted violently into the car.  The problem seems to be the stiffness at the front of the car.  It doesn't need to float like a Buick but on our deteriorating roads it needs to be softer to prevent the loss of control.

Any improvements that are made need to be done in away that does not dramatically change the character of the car or increase its cost.

 

The current car's suspension really isn't the issue since the next generation smart will be based on a completely different platform.  There are plenty of cars out there with excellent handling, precise steering and a decent ride - hopefully Daimler and Renault can incorporate those into the upcoming redesign of the smart fortwo.

Kamaal Peterson said:

I hear you, but I respectfully disagree.  If the front end suspension gets any softer, the smart car will lose steering crispness and accuracy and as such will float around during "quick" lane changes like the 500 does.  Some people may like that softness, but if I'm a tiny car nearly the same size as a motorcycle, I want it to change directions swiftly like one.  I don't want a small car that imitates larger and softer sedans. 

IMO, the 500 steering is extremely numb and there's no way I would floss my way through traffic at highway speeds when the steering accuracy is numbed down the way it is.  I've tossed around much larger vehicles with more confidence.  With the smart, in particular the Pure, the steering accuracy, crispness, and direct feel couldn't be any better.  And with that, comes the side effect of stiffer suspension, but the benefit of immediate, communicative, and accurate steering feel and response.

 


Steven Clary said:

The next Generation Smart needs to have better mileage.  Not because it is bad but people seem to expect that such a small car should get better than Hybrid mileage.  The diesel mileage is great, but with the cost of diesel being so much higher than gas, I am afraid a lot of potential buyers would be turned off.

The transmission needs to work better in automated mode.  Shifts are too abrupt in the lower gears. The transmission works great in manual mode.

The Ride needs to be softened. Any sort of abrupt bump is transmitted violently into the car.  The problem seems to be the stiffness at the front of the car.  It doesn't need to float like a Buick but on our deteriorating roads it needs to be softer to prevent the loss of control.

Any improvements that are made need to be done in away that does not dramatically change the character of the car or increase its cost.

 

I want a 6 speed transmission.  A more quiet ride would be nice.  How about a cargo light? 

Couple of more things:

- Interior button to release the rear hatch

- Front wheel bearings that can be replaced without having to buy an entire steering knuckle assembly

And another thing... make Daytime Running Lights standard.  They're required in Europe now, as well as Canada, so just put them on the US cars from the factory.  No more $50 fee to get them activated.

I agree with most of what was posted here. 

I am one who loves the transmission in this car. It's all the benefits of a manual without the clutch and fear of rolling back on a hill (hill start assist). My fear is that too many misunderstandings about the transmission and why it shifts so "poorly" will cause Daimler to slap a traditional slush box in there (the current only weighs about 75lbs and doesn't require maintenance). I do think that Daimler will stick to its roots here and if not use a dual-clutch just fine-tune what we already have (I hope). 

An extra gear would help  and we will need to achieve 50+mpg if we want to stay competitive. 

I would also like to see an improved instrument cluster with a full suite of vehicle information (carry-over from M-B) and a bit more on the NVH side of things to dull the bassy hum in 5th gear at highway speed.

That's all I got.

E

A unique horn sound like the old Road Runners had. It could be used in all the TV/Radio ads like the intel and cell phone sounds (all copied from the old NBC tones, btw). Maybe a tone that would say " I'm a smart".

MJB

I think jwight has it pegged. I'll add: keep it RWD, provide a manual transmission option, and do not provide a cvt or "traditional" automatic transmission. Change all lamping to LED and HID. Provide a more powerful ED option at a competitive price and/or a "real" Brabus version (i.e. more powerful engine) ... And on the "dream" list: build the for-us with it's mix of roadster/truck styling and benefit of more ground clearance.

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