smart has unveiled a new open-top two-seater - the fortwo cabrio.
Set for a world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the fortwo cabrio will be available with three different colours for the 'tritop' fabric soft top: blue denim, red or black. The removable roof bars, that can be stowed in a compartment in the tailgate, come in the tridion colour.
At the push of a button, the cabrio is transformed from a closed two-seater into a car with a large sliding canvas sunroof, or a fully fledged cabriolet with the soft top completely open. The B-pillar is narrower than on the closed variant and the styling of the tridion safety cell is more progressive, giving the smart fortwo cabrio an 'even sportier and more forward-focused look'.
The fabric soft top can be opened fully automatically in twelve seconds - even when driving at top speed. With the 3-button key the soft top can also be opened from outside the car by remote control. Removing the side roof bars enables a full-blown cabrio experience.
Torsional strength has been improved by around 15 percent compared with the predecessor with the material mix featuring a high proportion of ultra-high strength hot-formed steels and maximum-strength multiphase steels. In addition, the cabrio has been specifically reinforced in decisive places in comparison to the coupe. The modifications include a large steel cross under the vehicle, two torsional bulkheads under the vehicle at the front and rear and an inner tube in the A-pillars made of high strength hot-formed steel.
As well as meeting the requirements of mandatory crash tests, the new smart fortwo cabrio features advanced assistance systems such as the latest-generation ESP with Crosswind Assist and hill start assist (standard), forward collision warning (option) and Lane Keeping Assist (option).
Initially available with two three-cylinder engines rated at 71 hp and 90 hp, both units can be combined with the five-speed manual transmission or the fully automatic twinamic dual clutch transmission. In addition to the three trim lines passion, prime and proxy, customers can choose from a large range of safety and comfort features - including the new features added in the latest facelift such as smartphone integration with MirrorLink (standard in combination with the smart Media-System) or the Urban Style package (including black wheel arch linings and lowering kit).
The testing programme for open-top vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Cars is extensive - and identical for all models. The new smart fortwo cabrio was therefore subjected to the same rigorous tests as, for example, the Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet. In an endurance test, the opening and closing of the soft top was simulated over the whole vehicle life cycle. As well as this component test, which comprises 20,000 cycles, the soft top and the soft top mechanism must also prove themselves in the climatic chamber with temperatures between -15 and +80 degrees centigrade.
A car wash test ensures that smart cabrio passengers always stay dry, with 500 cycles - the requirements correspond to those for the coupe. In addition to this testing in the development phase, every single smart cabrio is also tested for 'leak-proofness' - at the end of the production at the Hambach plant every vehicle is sprinkled with a standardised amount of water for seven minutes.
The new smart cabrio will be available to order in mid-November with first models reaching dealers in February 2016.