Smart is a brand that is often related to anything ‘small’. But this year, at the IAA Mobility, Smart has decided to sway away from the norms. Smart Concept #1 is an electric SUV, a big electric SUV to be precise. This is bold and refreshing to see from a brand that is known far and wide for its tiny city runabout – the Fortwo.
This concept gives us a preview of what to expect from the next wave of all-electric vehicles from the German automaker. This concept is actually very close to the production stage and its design language is quite cheerful. We get to see hits of Aston Martin in the front fascia and the funky Kia Soul EV when looked from the side. Its compact proportions hide away quite a spacious cabin on the inside as well. This bold push is also because of Chinese auto giant – Geely, which partly owns this German marque now.
So, while the upcoming Smart all-electric SUV is designed in Germany, it will be engineered and manufactured in China by Geely. This also puts a lot of weight on the assumption that its powertrain will also be from Geely. Maximized efficiency seems to be the norm here and this concept shows a promising revamp for Smart’s future.
The Concept #1 SUV is a preview into Smart’s bold new EV future, that carries more than 2 people!
Daimler-Geely Tie-Up Has Helped Shape Smart’s New Future
Smart was a struggling automaker with dwindling sales up until 2019. Things changed for the good then, with Daimler and Geely tying up for an ambitious plan. And Smart was in it. Geely has now taken partial control of this German automaker and the Concept #1 SUV is the first fruit that has riped from this new ownership, and it’s quite the bold move. This is no longer a ‘small’ car or in any way related to Smart Fortwo. And this concept SUV marks a new beginning for Smart, which will now be producing EVs only.
Smart Concept #1 SUV: Battery Pack And Charging Tech
None of the powertrain details have been disclosed yet but we are sure that Geely would most likely slap on an already existing powertrain from its warehouse. The question that ponders is about the range and charging capabilities, for which sadly, we have to wait. But the package will most likely include fast charging, OTA updates, and a fairly long driving range.
As this Smart will be focused on the urbanscape, the range will be a no-brainer. We just hope that Geely gives it RWD and if possible AWD (yeah! too ambitious, we know!), as it will greatly improve the driving dynamics. It will be built on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA).
Smart Concept #1 SUV Has A Dramatic New Design
The front grille reminds us of Aston Martin, the LED headlamp unit of Volkswagen ID.4, the side profile has bits of the funky Kia Soul or Niro and the rear is unmistakably Mercedes-Benz. The design language is clearly a mash-up of inspirational bits from the automobile world, but it has come along quite well. It surely doesn’t carry forth the old ‘Smart’ essence, but that’s something that comes in the package of this reboot.
Things might look better in a different shade, well, only time would say. But in the showcased format, the dual-tone exterior color layout goes quite well with its tall stance and those 21-inch wheels add an SUV appeal to it. The Smart #1 SUV Concept comes in at 169 inches long, 75 inches wide, and 67 inches tall. It has a wheelbase of 108.2 inches. Comparatively, the Smart #1 SUV Concept comes in the vicinity of the MINI Countryman and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQA.
Concept #1 Has A Spacious Interior, Unlike The ‘Smart’ We Know
The exterior might still give you a compact car vibe, but that changes as soon as you lay eyes on the inside. The Smart Concept #1 SUV has a surprisingly spacious interior with 4 individual seats laid out lavishly. Obviously, it’s in the concept stage and the result will have a bench seat in the second row. But it will still be a whole new experience as compared to the cramped Smarts that we are accustomed to.
The interior gives out a very known Merc vibe, and this is where Diamler has done most of its part. The dashboard has a design resemblance to the new wave of Mercedes-Benz cars and it surely gives this Smart an upmarket feel. The floating center control unit is a 12.8-inch unit and will be retained to provide a layout similar to that of the Teslas.
When Will The All-New Smart Electric SUV Launch?
Smart has indicated of the #1 Concept SUV being very close to the production stage. And so, expect the final thing to be very similar to what you see, at least on the outside. Geely is targeting to bring out a production version of Smart’s all-new revival car early next year and will go on sale in China and Europe.
Smart’s return to The US is sketchy for now as they pulled out in 2019 after degrading sales over the past year. Fingers crossed for now, as the EV boom might give Smart a new lease of life and interest in the USA as well.
Sources: Media.smart.com, Carscoops.com, Electrek.co
This minuscule EV is perfect to carry out daily inner-city commuting.
About The Author