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Small car future by 2015: These are the new city cars

Christian Schulte
Small car future by 2015
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E s were once two small cars. One brought the practical monobox design into the micro-car class and was a surprise success in the first generation with its googly eyes and high variability. The other founded his segment himself and caused a sensation as originally only 2.50 meters short two-seater with three-cylinder rear engine.

New Smart Fortwo according to the well-known basic concept

What the Twingo was for Renault, was or is for Mercedes the Smart Fortwo. Although the small car built in Alsace never achieved the originally planned number of pieces, it helped Daimler successfully build a sub-brand whose products can also be seen as a counterweight to the more CO2-intensive Mercedes models in the luxury class. Since the requirements for fleet consumption will become even stricter in the future, the Swabians are still loyal to their small cars. The third generation of the city car, which will hit dealerships next year, will therefore keep its previous knitting pattern. The familiar basic concept with rear engine including rear-wheel drive and two seats as well as the Tridion cell as a characteristic body and design feature remains.

A completely new technical basis will be concealed therein or below, because Daimler is currently working with the Renault /Nissan alliance on a joint small and compact car platform (JC1). All corresponding models from Smart /Mercedes and Renault /Nissan are to be based on this in the future. What makes it special: it allows for both front and rear engine concepts and thus enables the two groups to implement different technical ideas in related series. Advantage for Daimler: Smart models with rear engines can also benefit from a platform strategy in the future, making them cheaper to manufacture.

Small car - TCe three-cylinder gasoline engine for the Smart

Renault /Nissan, on the other hand, does not have to do platform recycling for the Twingo III (from 2015), nor does it have to handle an expensive new design on its own. At the same time, the French can bring their TCe three-cylinder petrol engine into the partnership, which will also work in the Smart Fortwo in the future. However, Renault has decided not to bring out a shortened version of the Twingo itself. The odds for the fortwo twin on the important oneHome markets are assessed as too small for the development effort to be worthwhile. And to prevent further speculation, the French have also declared that they will not have a Twingo in the Dacia trim. Renault board member Carlos Tavares already sees the Dacia range as broad enough and prefers to work on the level of awareness of his entry-level brand.

The situation is different at Ford, where it is already clear that the next Ka will no longer be a Fiat 500 clone. The four-seater study Ford Start from 2010, which was originally only intended as a presentation vehicle for the one-liter Ecoboost engine, shows in which direction a future microcar design could go there. Because while the company in emerging countries keeps older compact and small car models fresh with a facelift and multimedia updates, in this country a smarter design should support the sale of the basic Ford, platform recycling or not.

Fiat could bring a Mini-500

Industry giant VW would already have a suitable, independent model with the Gol Car in the Brazilian range, but does not want to bring unnecessary competition to Polo or Up in the European model range. Instead, they are thinking about a locally manufactured entry-level model from a sub-brand for the Chinese market. Asking price: 5,000 euros.

In addition to Dacia, only Fiat could compete in this category in Europe - with an ultra-compact Mini-500 made in Poland - and with reduced equipment.


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