Hot on the heels of our first encounter with the new 2016 Smart Fortwo Coupe, the automaker has released a look at its open-air counterpart that makes its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show. This sportier variation on the Fortwo theme shares the basic mechanical elements with its hard-shell sibling, including an 89-horsepower turbocharged 3-cylinder gasoline engine paired with either a 5-speed manual or optional 6-speed "Twinamic" dual-clutch automatic transmission. However, the Fortwo Cabrio does boast structural modifications in addition to its reconfigurable soft top.  

While the basic styling of the new Fortwo Cabrio parallels the look of the Coupe, underneath, this stiffest-ever Smart drop-top benefits from reinforcements that increase torsional rigidity by nearly 15 percent over its predecessor. Key changes include a steel central crossmember, supplemental bulkheads at the front and rear of the passenger cabin and a high-strength steel tube inside of each A-pillar. The signature Tridion safety cell structure also has been reshaped to impart a more forward-focused look that includes slightly narrower B-pillars to better accommodate its Cabrio configuration.

Sophisticated power top 

Needless to say, Smart spent a good deal of time on the design of the new fabric "Tritop" that crowns the Fortwo Cabrio This triple-layer rollback cover sandwiches rubber between a fade-resistant polyacrylic exterior shell and a polyester/cotton blend headliner and features a heated-glass rear window. It can be deployed in either direction and at any speed in just 12 seconds at the touch of a button - in the vehicle or on the keyfob. The side rails on the Cabrio also can be easily detached and stored in the trunk area for a true open air experience. 

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While details like pricing, performance and EPA number are not final, we do know that the 2017 Smart Fortwo Cabrio will be offered here in Pure, Passion, Prime and Proxy model grades that match up with the 2016 Fortwo Coupe when it arrives in U.S. showrooms early next summer. Standard equipment includes a Smart radio with Bluetooth technology, automatic climate control, power windows, cruise control and a multifunction steering wheel. All versions come with M-B's ESP with Crosswind Assist and hill start assist and offer an optional forward collision warning system. 

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