In 2014, Smart decided that the second-generation ForTwo had spent too many years on the market and launched the much-improved, third-generation model. Redesigned from the ground up with help from French automaker Renault, the new ForTwo is a significant departure from its predecessor in terms of design, technology, and drivetrains. Under the hood, the tiny city car continues to use small-displacement, three-cylinder engines, but ditched the previous powerplants in favor of two new units from Renault. It also received a manual transmission for the first time. As far as lineup diversity goes, the ForTwo spawned the usual convertible, Brabus, and all-electric versions.
In 2016, the small German automobile made its debut as a police car for the New York Police Department. The largest municipal police force in the United States ordered no fewer than 250 ForTwos as a replacement for the three-wheel motorbikes it previously used in the city. A welcome decision among policemen, who now benefit from all-weather protection and air conditioning. Currently using around 9,000 vehicles, the New York Police Department quoted the car’s agility and reliability in its decision to turn the 106-inch-long ForTwo into a patrol car.
"The smart is spacious and agile and makes my job much easier. Many people say that the little patrol cars are really cute, too," said Officer Ralph Jefferson, the first policeman to take the ForTwo on patrol duty around Chinatown.
Needless to say, it looks like the days when the NYPD used large vehicles such as the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor in the city are long gone. But, this isn’t the first time small cars are preferred in crowded neighborhoods. Back in the 1950s, various police departments around the U.S. acquired Nash Metropolitan economy cars for police duty. At only 149.5 inches long, the Metropolitan was one of the smallest vehicles on American roads and pretty much a Smart ForTwo among the very large cars produced by Detroit.
Continue reading to learn more about the Smart ForTwo NYPD Edition.