Smart, Nissan Team Up for New Subcompact

Smart USA and Nissan Motors signed a agreement today that will bring a new Smart car to the U.S. starting in 2011.

The agreement will give Smart a five-door, gasoline-powered, subcompact hatchback, which means the car will be larger than the Smart ForTwo or around the size of a Toyota Yaris or Ford Fiesta five-door hatchback. The car is said to go on sale sometime in the next 12 to 14 months.

Smart, eager to show it still has a future in this country, also provided photos of the yet-unnamed subcompact. The car looks similar to the Nissan March/Micra, a subcompact sold in Europe and Asia, but Smart styling cues appear up front and in the rear, including unique headlamps, taillamps, grille and front and rear bumpers.

This wouldn’t be Smart’s first five-door hatch, either. The company had a product called the ForFour in Europe – this new Smart could be the revival of that nameplate.

Smart’s ForTwo hasn’t taken off with American consumers. The company has sold only 3,909 in the U.S. in 2010, a 60.9% drop from 2009’s already abysmal numbers. Smart sales peaked in 2008 at 24,622.

Check out the two pictures Smart released below for a closer look.

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