With the unveiling of the definite version of its SUV #1, the resurrection of Smart is complete. The first car under joint Chinese and German development features a battery of 66 kWh and a range of 440 kilometers. It will be a contender for cars like the Kia e-Niro, the VW ID.3, or Hyundai Kona Electric and is aimed to facilitate car-sharing between friends through a dedicated app.
Technologically, the newest car from Smart is made in China. Underneath that bodywork sits the SEA platform from Geely, or the Sustainable Experience Architecture, featuring a 66 kWh battery pack that can be charged up to 22 kW AC and 150 kW DC.
In the former case, a 10-80% refill can be performed in 3.5 hours, in the latter under 30 minutes. According to WLTP the #1 can reach between 420 and 440 kilometers before its owner needs to plug it in a socket. The power on tap is definitively an advantage, with an asynchronous motor that produces 200 kW (or 272 hp) and a torque of 343 newton meters.
Moveable rear bench
As typical for a dedicated platform, the wheelbase is quite generous. It offers 2,75 meters for a length of 4,27 meters. The new smart features a slideable rear bench (13 centimeters), enlarging the boot space from 273 to 411 liters.
There’s also a 12.8-inch touchscreen rising from the dashboard and running an in-house developed software interface based on Android. It can be updated over the air. The digital platform is also responsible for driving assistance systems and services for electromobility.
Because, as a child of its time, and Smart aiming at a crowd of youngsters, the #1 is prepared for car-sharing. Friends or other people can be registered on a dedicated smartphone app functioning as a digital key to those third parties. The owner can also program a reservation period.
To enhance the digital experience, the small SUV comes with a personally linked ID, storing your individual settings. In addition, an avatar is activated during your drive, and the user interface features clever AI-based voice control.
While Geely took care of the platform and the technology, the European team of Mercedes designer Gordon Wagener created the bodywork. The production model keeps a close watch on the concept that was unveiled at the Münich Mobility Show in September last year. Traditional solutions have replaced crowd-cheering features like the opposite doors, but the retracted door handles that optimize drag have survived approval.
The global supply shortage problems refrain Smart from pinning an exact date for sales launch.