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Mercedes patent hints at three-seater Smart

Recent patent filings by Mercedes-Benz indicate that a three-seater Smart Forthree may be in the works.

Smart three-seater patent drawing
And you thought the Fortwo's cabin was cramped... Mercedes-Benz

Recent patent filings by Mercedes-Benz indicate that a three-seater Smart may be in the works.

According to Autocar:

"Nothing's official at this stage, but Mercedes-Benz insiders contacted by Autocar suggest the new car could take the name 'Forthree' into showrooms by 2014 as part of plans to extend the Smart lineup into a complete range of models by the middle of the next decade."

Smart Forthree? How about something more exciting like McSmart F1?

Obviously drawing inspiration from the McLaren F1 supercar, the rumored Smart will feature a 1+2 layout with a centrally positioned driver's seat flanked by two passenger seats mounted slightly behind. To facilitate easy entrance and egress, the driver's seat looks like it should be able to rotate slightly and slide on rails toward the door. Also, depicted in the patent drawings is a trick fold-flat pedal, which should clear the footwell when seats start sliding.

Smart three seater patent drawing.
The patent drawings also outline airbag and seatbelt placement, as well as alternate configurations. Mercedes-Benz

The patent makes no mention of the three-seater's drivetrain, but speculation seems to point to one of Mercedes' upcoming three-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines for small vehicle applications and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which is still under development.