Mike Stevens | Oct 7, 2010

Marking the first fruit of the recently announced alliance between Daimler and Renault-Nissan, light-car specialist Smart has today revealed artwork for a brand new addition to its line-up.

While Smart confirmed that its new model would be built on a Nissan-developed platform, specific details have not been revealed. However, the official artwork suggests Smart is looking to the upcoming five-door 2011 Nissan Micra as a starting point.

The new model will be developed specifically for sale in the United States, with further global launches yet to be confirmed. The car's US-market launch is scheduled for late 2011.

"We are faced with continuing customer demand for a smart car with more seating capacity," Roger Penske, Chairman of Smart's US distributor, Penske Automotive Group, said.

"Sales and service of the five seater will be carried out exclusively by our approximately 75 smart dealerships in the United States. Together with Nissan, we will bring to market a fully equipped small car for our customers and dealers in the USA. It will fit in well with the smart brand."

Development of the new model is expected to cost around US$25 million - a remarkably low figure, suggesting the new Smart will be little more than a cosmetically-altered Micra.

With only a Memorandum of Understanding signed at this early stage, technical details and powertrains for the new Smart have still to be finalised.

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