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smart forfour Quietly Discontinued, SUV Replacement Incoming

Founded in 1994 by Daimler AG in collaboration with Swatch, smart launched the fortwo microcar in 1998 to much critical acclaim. A sporty roadster option followed in 2002, then the forfour launched in 2004.
smart EQ forfour 11 photos
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Fast forward to 2022, and smart is nothing more than a shadow of its former self. The online configurator presently lists two models, namely the fortwo and fortwo cabrio with EQ all-electric propulsion. The company phased out combustion-engined vehicles due to very low demand, and the EQ range isn’t selling particularly well either due to soaring demand for crossovers.

Alas, the smart brand couldn’t help but quietly discontinue the forfour in preparation of the yet-to-be-named utility vehicle developed in collaboration with Geely. Internally known as the W453, the forfour used to be made at the Renault-owned Revoz manufacturing facility in Novo Mesto, Slovenia.

Phased out in December 2021, according to electrive.com, the all-electric smart EQ forfour launched in 2017 to a lukewarm reception. In addition to quite a high starting price, the zero-emission city dweller was just too pricy for most people in the market for an urban commute-oriented daily driver.

The 60-kW electric motor and 17.6-kWh battery pack weren’t particularly good either, more so when compared to slightly larger alternatives that include the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf. Frankly speaking, I couldn’t wrap my head around this car’s viability ever since it was presented in the guise of the Vision EQ fortwo concept at the 2017 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show.

As for the indirect successor, the yet-unnamed utility vehicle will premiere sometime this year for the 2023 model year. Previewed by the Concept #1 back in September 2021, the brand-new model is based on a brand-new platform dubbed SEA (make that Sustainable Experience Architecture).

The Zhejiang Geely Holding Group intends to deploy the SEA across nine brands, including Volvo. The first model based on this platform is the Zeekr 001 shooting brake, which entered production in China in October 2021.

Editor's note: Concept #1 pictured in the gallery.

 
 
 
 
 

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