Competes with: A Schwinn 10-speed bike, as well as the Chevrolet Spark, Scion iQ and Fiat 500
Looks like: A wide-eyed, caffeine-injected Smart ForTwo
Drivetrain: (Preliminary European specifications) 60- or 71-horsepower three-cylinder engine; 90-hp, turbocharged three-cylinder; five-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
Hits dealerships: Fall 2015
Smart's ForTwo microcar has been around these parts since it debuted as a 2008 model, and it's seen few changes since then. Next year, a redesigned ForTwo will debut in the U.S. and the bite-size microcar will get plenty of new bits and pieces. Smart, whose parent company is Mercedes-Benz, says this globally designed ForTwo went through the same development program as the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
A Mercedes-Benz spokesperson confirmed that the turbocharged 90-hp engine as well as manual and automatic transmissions are coming stateside. A new dual-clutch automatic manual transmission and a traditional manual transmission are big steps away from the model's current, unruly single-clutch automatic transmission. Execution is everything, so driving the next-generation ForTwo will be the big tell-all.