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Smart's tech gets savvy at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (pictures)

The new Smart fortwo and forfour compacts' tech dramatically improves for the next generation.

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Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart fortwo

We lay eyes on the 2016 Smart fortwo for the first time at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

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2 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart fortwo

The new Smart is slightly wider, but retains its short wheelbase and 2.69m (106.1 inches) overall length.

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2016 Smart fortwo

The new design is instantly recognizable as a smart and is available in a variety of color combinations ranging from wild to understated.

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2016 Smart fortwo

In addition to passive safety feature such as the Tridion Safety Cell, the new fortwo is available with a new selection of active safety options and features.

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2016 Smart fortwo

The most interesting and unique safety feature is the new Crosswind Assist, which detects when the diminutive coupe is being pushed around by strong winds and uses brakes intervention to help steer the car straight.

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6 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart fortwo

As compact as ever, the fortwo is still one of the most parkable cars on the road.

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2016 Smart fortwo

For this generation, the 2016 Smart fortwo isn't alone. It has a larger sibling.

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8 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart forfour

The 2016 Smart forfour is exactly that: a Smart car for up to four passengers. It gains a second pair of doors and a second row of seats.

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9 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart forfour

Inside, Smart is taking the fortwo and forfour upmarket with more cabin tech options and a range of amenities and customizations.

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2016 Smart forfour

To help the driver to interact with this higher level of function, Smart has added new steering wheel controls.

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2016 Smart forfour

The instrument cluster is a simple single-gauge setup, but is inset with a small color display that fleshes out the trip computer and infotainment functions.

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12 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart forfour

A small tachometer pod can be added to the dashboard near the A-pillar. This pod includes an even smaller clock.

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13 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart forfour

The fortwo and forfour are available with two new engines and two new transmissions. For the gearbox, choose between a then new "twinamic" six-speed dual-clutch transmission or a five-speed manual gearbox.

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2016 Smart forfour

We're excited to see Smart making an effort to upgrade the tech in its compact cars.

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2016 Smart forfour

The new infotainment system doesn't boast a whole lot of advanced features and I'm not a fan of the weird floating pod design, but this is a huge step up over the previous generation.

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16 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart forfour

Navigation duties are handled by TomTom's GPS mapping and routing software, though the specifics of the infotainment may change when the compact is imported to the US.

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17 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart forfour

The graphics are bright, colorful, and easy to read and tap from the driver's seat. If you don't like it, there's also an option to replace the infotainment screen with a smartphone cradle and use your own phone or tablet.

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2016 Smart forfour

USB/iPod, SD card, and auxiliary inputs can be found on the center console.

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2016 Smart fortwo

Neither the fortwo or the forfour are what I'd call spacious, but there's more room in there than you'd think. The increased width and track open up some much needed elbow room.

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20 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart forfour

Fortwo and forfour models are available with sliding fabric top. Beware, the open top intrudes into the forfour's rear seat headroom. I'm 5'9" and my head brushed the ceiling in this example.

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21 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart fortwo

The rear hatch splits open. Glass goes up and a tailgate folds down, revealing a largish opening for loading things.

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22 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart fortwo

Like the exterior, the cabin is available in a wide range of colors and color combinations.

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2016 Smart fortwo

Smart demonstrated the fortwo carrying a surfboard, but you'll have to fold the passenger seat down to accommodate it. The forfour is better suited for carrying people and cargo.

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24 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart fortwo

The Smart compacts are available with either a 1-liter 3-banger that outputs 71 horsepower and 67 pound-feet of torque or a sub-liter (898 cc) turbocharged 3-cylinder option that outputs 90 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque.

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25 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart fortwo

As in the previous generation, the engine sits transaxle at the rear, sending power to the rear wheels.

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26 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart fortwo

Headlamps and tail lights have been enlarged. At both ends the lights feature LEDs and a rounded square design.

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27 of 27 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart fortwo

The Fortwo now boasts what Smart calls "the smallest turning circle of any car." Thanks to short overhangs, minimal length, and a revised high steering angle, the compact can flip a U-turn between curbs that are just 6.95m (about 22.8 feet) apart and walls that are just 7.30 m (24 feet) apart.

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