While you may not believe it, this electric SUV is the latest vehicle to come from the famed microcar manufacturer Smart. The new Smart #1 is an 1820kg, five-seater electric crossover that weighs in at more than two original 750kg Smart ForTwos.
The new Smart #1 is the first car to be developed under joint Daimler-Geely ownership and is based on Geely’s all-new SEA electric platform. With a 2.75-metre wheelbase the #1 is by far the largest and heaviest Smart ever made.
The entry-level Smart #1 is set to arrive with a 66kWh battery for a claimed range of up to 273 miles, while the #1’s single rear-mounted motor will produce a healthy 268bhp and 343Nm of torque - more than double the ForTwo’s measly 107bhp.
Smart is yet to announce a 0-62mph time, though we expect it’ll cover that benchmark in less than seven seconds. Smart has, however, confirmed that the #1 will reach a top speed of 112mph. More affordable and lower performance options will likely arrive in the future.
The Smart SUV will come with 150kW rapid charging capability, which will refill the vehicle’s 66kWh battery from 10 to 80 per cent in under 30 minutes, while plugging into a 22kW AC charger will do the same job in around three hours.
The #1 is equipped with a 12.8-inch touchscreen display as well as a 9.2-inch digital dashboard and a 10-inch heads-up display as standard, while Level 2 autonomous driving is offered as part of the Advanced Driver Assistance System, which also comes with tech such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, automatic parking and traffic jam assist.
Prices have not been announced for the Smart #1 yet, though the brand hopes their new EV will rival the likes of the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Volkswagen ID.3, which points to a starting price of around £32,000 ($41,700). Volvo will use the #1’s platform to build its own electric SUV, with the Smart being positioned as the cheaper option. Production of the Smart #1 is set to begin towards the end of the year, with Smart promising deliveries of the first cars in 2023, although it hasn’t been confirmed for the US.
So, what do you think of this new direction for Smart? Will be #1 be a success for Smart? Or do you think the brand is turning its back on its identity as a small-car maker? Let us know your thoughts.