Saturday 28 February 2015

Output of Smart ForFour to hit 60,000

According to IHS Automotive Production Forecasts output of Daimler’s Smart ForFour is expected to peak in 2015 at more than 60,000 units.

Stewart Pedder, managing director of SupplierBusiness, sees the 2015 Smart ForFour as marking Daimler AG's return to the affordable family hatchback segment. Following poor sales, the production of the first-generation model was axed by the automaker in 2006, after only two years in production.

The ForFour’s running gear is identical to its smaller sibling, the ForTwo and is assembled on the same platform as Renault’s latest generation Twingo which shares up to 70 per cent of the components.

Unlike its predecessor, the new Smart ForFour’s engine is located at the rear, beneath the boot floor and drives the rear wheels. The new model is offered from launch with the choice of two, three-cylinder gasoline power plants, a 70bhp naturally aspirated 1-litre unit and a more powerful 90bhp turbocharged 0.9-litre engine.

Suppliers include: Aisin, oil control valve; Calsonic Kansei, low temperature radiator; Behr-Hella Thermocontrol, electronic climate control; Brose, window regulators; Carbody, clutch module; Carcoustics, engine damping components; Contitech, fuel management diaphragms; Cooper-Standard, upper strut mount and dynamic sealing for tailgate and hood; Delfingen, wiring protection system; Delphi, passive occupant detection system; Edscha, lift-gate hinge; Elringklinger, speciality engine gaskets and engine/exhaust shielding systems; Federal Mogul, spark plugs and pistons and rings; GKN driveline, side-shafts; HellerMannTyton, interior cable bundling; Inalfa Roof Systems, manual rollover; Magna; folding roof; Mahle, oil mist separators and HVAC modules; Norma Group, Stabilus, tailgate gas sprig; TI Automotive, Coex plastic fuel tank; Torro, hose clamps; Stanley Engineered Fastening, plastics and metal fasteners; ZF Friedrichshafen, micro switches, ZF Lenkstsreme, I-shaft.

The turbocharger is supplied by Honeywell and features an integrated exhaust manifold.

According to the supplier, their latest generation waste-gate turbochargers are constructed using alloys and composites which were originally developed for their aerospace business and designed to cope with the higher temperature environments required by gasoline engines compared to diesel.

Honeywell claims other innovations include a 4-pad Z bearing that is 30 per cent smaller and reduces friction losses by 20 per cent compared to conventional bearings, and an electric actuator which provides an optimal balance between performance and fuel economy.

The new model also features a choice of transmissions – the robotized manual transmission available on the previous generation has been replaced with either a five-speed manual or the so-called ‘Twinamic’ six-speed dual clutch box transmission supplied by Getrag.

Assembly of second generation ForFour began in September 2014 at Renault’s Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia. 

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