Our spy photographers have spotted a very early prototype of the Smart Forfour not long after catching a Fortwo mule out for testing. Although there’s still a long way to go in the new four-seater’s development process, the snapshots below give us a first glimpse at what we can expect when it makes its official debut sometime in 2015.
Like the Smart Fortwo, the new car will have a rear-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive. It will also be built on the same platform as the new Fortwo, but unlike the Fortwo, the Forfour has more junk in the trunk and an extra set of doors to accommodate room for two other passengers. From the front, the two cars appear to be the same, but the differences in the very early prototypes become much more apparent viewing it from the side and from the back. Styling cues from the Forstars concept, such as wider fender flares are expected to find their way on the new car.
Details regarding the Forfour’s hardware are still unknown, however, it could get the same treatment as the Fortwo with new gas and diesel engines plus a new gearbox. The four-passenger car is being developed with Renault-Nissan, and may also be made into a new Renault Twingo. It’s unclear whether the Forfour will make it stateside, where it could compete with cars like the Fiat 500L and Chevy Spark.
In other Smart news, Smart has priced its latest fully electric Fortwo, which will start at $25,750 in coupe form and $28,750 as a convertible, including destination before any federal tax credits. We’ve heard that the automaker expects 30 percent of all U.S. sales next year to be the electric car, which Smart says has a range of about 90 miles.