By Christopher A. Sawyer
The technical tie up between Renault and Mercedes is bearing fruit, nowhere more visibly than with the new smart. It shares its chassis and powertrain with Renault’s new Twingo, itself a small, rear-engined four-door hatchback. Unlike the Twingo, however, the smart comes in two models, the two-seat fortwo and four-seat forfour. This marks the return of the forfour to the smart lineup, but the first time it uses a rear-engined platform. The previous version of the forfour was based on the platform of the front-drive Mitsubishi Colt and built at the NedCar plant in the Netherlands, but never really caught on with the public. And, as a unique design that shared nothing with the fortwo, it was not a cost-effective addition to the smart lineup. The new car takes care of that problem.