Don’t step on it: Smart’s Lilliputian 2016 fortwo is ready for the Big Apple

Daimler’s smart division will travel to tomorrow’s New York Motor Show to introduce the all-new 2016 fortwo. The third-gen model was presented to the public last fall in Paris but it hasn’t been shown in the United States yet.

Unsurprisingly, the U.S.-spec fortwo is identical to the Euro-spec model that was unveiled in the French capital a few weeks ago. Built on a new platform developed jointly with industrial partner Renault, the fortwo stretches just 105.9 inches long, 65.3 inches wide and 61 inches tall, dimensions that earn it the honor of being the smallest new car available in the United States by a long shot. The third-gen fortwo is roughly the same size as the outgoing second-gen model but its turning radius has been reduced to an impossibly tight 22.8 feet from curb to curb.

Buyers will be asked to choose from four trim levels called pure, passion, prime and proxy – remember, smart has eschewed capital letters since the beginning. The base model comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity, LED daytime running lights, power windows, cruise control, no less than eight airbags, a multi-function steering wheel and remote keyless entry. Interestingly, all fortwo models regardless of trim level are equipped with the Crosswind Assist technology that was developed for much bigger vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the GL-Class and the S-Class.

Staying true to tradition, an edition #1 model will be available at launch. The fortwo edition #1 immediately stands out thanks to two-tone an orange and white paint job, black 16-inch alloy wheels, a slightly lowered sport suspension, LED lighting and a panoramic sunroof. A three-spoke steering wheel and stainless steel pedals add the finishing touch.

The U.S.-spec fortwo is exclusively available with a Renault-sourced 0.9-liter three-cylinder engine that uses a small turbocharged to pump out 89 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 100 foot-pounds of torque at 2,500 rpm. Although it was unabashedly designed for crowded cities, the fortwo can theoretically hit a top speed of 96 mph.

Thankfully, smart has finally tossed out the overly-complicated automated manual transmission and replaced it with an honest-to-goodness five-speed manual unit. Buyers who long for the two-pedal setup can order a six-speed dual-clutch DSG unit at an extra cost.

The 2016 smart fortwo is scheduled to land in showrooms across the nation next September. Pricing information and fuel economy figures will be announced in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date.

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