Smart, which became the first ‘legacy carmaker’ to ditch internal combustion engines completely in 2019, has showcased the Concept #1 at the Munich Motor Show as a preview of its first SUV model. Smart is embarking on a radical product strategy under new co-owner Geely, who now has a 50 percent stake in the company.
- Concept #1 is the first bespoke EV from Smart
- Measures similar to parent company Mercedes’ EQA EV
- Technical details still kept under wraps
Smart Concept #1: what is it?
The Concept #1 will herald the beginning of an important new era for the brand, during which Geely will manage the engineering side of model development and Mercedes, the design. The near-production-ready concept takes the form of a compact electric crossover and measures 4,290mm in length, is 1,910mm wide and 1,698mm tall. In terms of size, it’s very close to parent company Mercedes-Benz’s EQA electric crossover.
Smart Concept #1: design
It’s clearly recognisable as a Smart but has evolutionary design elements that seek to promote a “cool, grown-up” brand image, according to design boss Gorden Wagener. Its defining features include short overhangs at each end, a panoramic sunroof, frameless doors and contrasting black lower body elements.
The rear-hinged doors are opened by touch-sensitive light panels, rather than handles, which, along with distinctive LED clusters at each end and a unique interior lighting set-up, contribute to the concept’s “attention-grabbing light display”.
Smart says that the wheels being pushed out to the very corners of the car and the 2,750mm wheelbase allow for an “extremely spacious” interior, which will gain a fifth seat for production. Elbow room, leg room and storage space are all said to be on par with vehicles in higher segments, while the ‘floating’ centre console, lack of B-pillars and glass roof air out the cabin.
Smart Concept #1: platform
Technical details remain under wraps, but future Smart models will sit on a Geely-developed bespoke EV platform that promises “the highest level of dynamic handling and passive safety”. Rapid charging, long battery life and over-the-air software update support will also be features of the new product line-up.