In 2019, Smart was the first automobile maker to offer a model without internal combustion engines. Concept #1 at the Munich Motor Show is a preview of its first SUV model. In response to the intention of new co-owner Geely, which now owns 50 percent of Smart, the company is embarking on an ambitious product strategy.
Geely has been assigned the engineering side of model development, and Mercedes will be the designer, and Concept #1 will mark the beginning of a new era for the brand. The concept crossover measures 4,290mm in length, 1,910mm wide and 1,698mm tall and resembles a compact electric vehicle close to going into mass production. As a result, its size is very close to that of Mercedes-Benz’s EQA electric crossover.
According to design chief Gorden Wagener, the Smart has “cool, grown-up” elements that aim to promote an image of a company that has “modernized” its brand. Among its distinctive features are short overhangs at both ends, a panoramic sunroof, frameless doors and contrasting black lower body elements.
It features rear-hinged doors that open with touch-sensitive light panels, rather than handles and a distinctive interior light display that contributes to the concept’s “attention-grabbing light display”.
Using the vehicle’s vast wheelbase and the wheels pushed out to the corners, Smart says its interior is “extremely spacious,” and will gain a fifth seat after production. The cabin is said to have a lot of legroom, elbow room, and storage space, while there is a ‘floating’ centre console, few B-pillars, and a glass roof.
Although the details of future Smart models remain under wraps, they will ride on an electric platform developed by Geely that will deliver “the highest level of passive safety and dynamic handling”. Additionally, new products will offer over-the-air software update support, quick charging, long battery life, and long battery life.