It's no secret that Mercedes-Benz plans to give its Smart brand one more chance to extend its vehicle range after the not so-successful Mitsubishi Colt-based Forfour and the Roadster series. Last April, the German automaker signed a deal with the Renault-Nissan Group, with the two parties announcing the development of a new rear-wheel drive platform to be used on the successor of the current Smart Fortwo, a new four-seater Smart and the next-generation Renault Twingo.
Now, one of our spy photographers managed to sneak close enough to the firm's R&D facilities in Germany and scoop these photos of a scale model of a five-door Smart. The prototype appears to be based on the next generation Fortwo with the engine mounted at the back, which would make sense since both vehicles will be based on the same architecture. The difference is the five door model features a longer wheelbase and a much taller roof to accommodate the rear passengers.
While there's no way of being sure if the model seen here is an early or an advanced prototype, it definitely gives us an idea of Smart's plans.
We'll post an update on Smart's forthcoming four-seater model as soon as we find new photos and/or details.