At present, the current ForTwo’s engine was developed by Mitsubishi and is used by the ForFour, a subcompact platform made by Colt. The collaboration between the two brands was stopped in 2008 when Smart’s ForFour stopped production because of poor sales. Now, Smart will shake hands with the folks from Ford and Renault-Nissan to make new models, the first item on the list being the new generation of ForTwo.
“It’s a very interesting and impressive engine,” stated engine development director Roland Kemmler of Mercedes-Benz, a Daimler subsidiary, for Automotive News Europe when questioned about Ford’s powerplant. “We have had some discussions with Ford engineers about this engine.”
Ford makes use of the turbocharged three-cylinder 1-liter EcoBoost gasoline direct-injection engine for its Focus compact, C-max compact, the Fiesta subcompact and the B-Max subcompact.
The Americans will not empty handed, but will receive in exchange for their expertise on small displacement engines access to Euro6 technology, a catalytic filter layered patented by Mercedes.
The news of collaboration with the American manufacturer is somewhat shocking. This is because the new engine inspired by Ford will be used on future models with rear wheel drive, related to Smart-Renault Twingo.
The Germans chose to consult with their overseas colleagues and not with the current partner in the Smart-Twingo project, although the French from Renault have in their current portfolio a similar turbocharged engine. We are talking about the 0.9 TCe unit, with 90 hp, present on the new generation Dacia Logan and Sandero.
Regarding the actual engine, it will be a “conventional” turbocharged unit, with the apparent aim being for it to emit around 96 g/km of CO2 in the new Smart ForTwo. Even so, the collaboration is not a singular effort between the aforementioned manufacturers, because Ford, Daimler and Renault announced earlier this year that they would jointly develop fuel cell technology. The goal of that agreement is to make it a viable mass-market possibility by 2017.
Again coming from Automotive News, the cooperation between Daimler, Renault and Ford will reach a new milestone, the three builders planning to jointly develop hydrogen cells. By 2017, the three partners will develop hydrogen powered vehicles that will be sold to the general public at an affordable price. Three-cylinder engines developed by Mercedes-Benz with Ford technology will be used by Renault. The advantage of Renault will be capitalized by production capacity, which Daimler representatives say they are impressive, and specialized in large-scale work.
The partnership between Daimler and Renault-Nissan started back in 2010, when the automakers decided to collectively develop and share platforms as well as engines. The next year, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said that the alliance will focus primarily on “small cars and small engines.”