DETROIT – Parent company Mercedes-Benz used the 2016 Detroit Auto Show to pull the cover off the 2017 Smart Fortwo Cabrio, the quasi-convertible version of its recently redesigned city car.
Much of it is the same as the regular Smart Fortwo, with the key difference being its sunroof-like roll-back convertible roof. Available in three colors (Blue Denim, red or black), the three-layer fabric soft top fully opens at the push of a button in 12 seconds. It can also do it at full speed, whereas other convertibles are limited to somewhere in the 30-second range. The top can also be opened remotely from the key fob.
To achieve more of a targa-style open-air experience, the side roof bars can be removed and stowed on the tailgate.
In addition to Smart’s “tridion safety cell,” the Cabrio receives additional reinforcements to counteract the structural rigidity lost by removing part of the roof. Mercedes says it meets all mandatory crash tests plus additional, more stringent ones such as the “roof drop” test, where the car is dropped upside-down at a slight angle.
As with the hardtop Fortwo, there is a single, 89-horsepower three-cylinder engine available, paired to either a traditional manual transmission or a dual-clutch automated manual. There are also four trim levels: Pure, Passion, Prime and Proxy.
The only real competitor in terms of size and price is the Fiat 500C.
Look for the 2016 Smart Fortwo Cabrio in showrooms early this summer.
Edmunds says: Sure, you’ll probably let in more bus exhaust than sunshine while driving around the city, but a Smart with a quasi-removable roof is nevertheless more interesting than the normal version.