Launched just last year, the redesigned third-generation Smart ForTwo enters 2017 with a convertible body style joining the standard hardtop coupe.
The ForTwo Convertible takes the same form as the previous two generations of ForTwo drop-tops; the roof is a sliding canvas panel that can be opened like a sunroof, or completely retracted where it neatly folds over the liftgate. The electric top takes just 12 seconds to fully open, and can be operated at any speed. For maximal open-air effect, the roof's side pillars can be removed and stored in the trunk. Buyers can choose between red and black-coloured tops.
Despite its ultra-short wheelbase, and an already strong Tridion space frame chassis, Smart engineers stiffened the ForTwo's shell with additional floor pan bracing and beefed up bulkheads which boost torsional rigidity by 15 percent.
Developed in conjunction with France's Renault, the ForTwo comes powered by a 0.9-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine which generates 89 horsepower and 100 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual transmission (yes, with a clutch!) or a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual. Both are a massive step forward compared to the previous generation's automated single-clutch manual transmission.
Though the latest ForTwo is the largest iteration yet, it is far and away the smallest conventional car sold in Canada. Its turning circle is diminutive at just 22.8 feet, affording it the ability to U-turn on a two-lane street, while its overall length of 106 inches – shorter than the wheelbases of many cars – makes it a snap to park, even on congested city streets. An optional Sport package fits 16-inch wheels in place of standard 15-inch units, and stiffer springs and dampers with a 10-mm lower ride height.
On the inside, the latest Smart features a spacious cabin that’s full of whimsical details. The climate control uses a nifty slider switch instead of a conventional knob, gauges sprout from the top of the dash, while all but the Pure trim receive a smartphone cradle for Smart's Cross Connect mobile app interface. USB and Bluetooth come standard on all trims. A 7.0-inch display audio system with navigation is available at extra cost on Passion and Prime trims. Buyers can also choose from eye-popping interior colours including orange, as well as a white and blue combination. Forward collision warning is available as an optional extra but does not include emergency autonomous braking.
The Coupe is available in three trims - basic Pure, mid-grade Passion, and range-topping Prime. The Convertible is available in Passion and Prime. With a starting price of $21,800, the ForTwo Convertible also manages to be Canada’s most affordable convertible, undercutting the Fiat 500c Pop, which sells for $22,995.