Far beyond the microcar: Smart #3 unwrapped (update)

At IAA Münich, Smart has revealed more details about its second model, the #3. Though it shares much of its technology with the boxier #1, the coupé cross-over is the largest car the brand has ever launched and is similarly sized to the Volkswagen ID.5.

Smart’s compact crossover will be available to order in the Benelux as of the beginning of next year. Prices have yet to be confirmed, but as much of the technology and equipment is shared with the #1, they’re expected to turn out slightly higher.

Range of 455 kilometers

Smart will make the car, which was already unveiled at the auto show of Shanghai in April, available in four trims: Pro+, Premium, 25th Anniversary, and Brabus. Every #3 uses the same 66 kWh battery pack, but the outputs and configurations differ. And you’ve guessed it, the anniversary model is a temporary offering.

The Brabus is the oddball of the range, with an output of 428 hp and two electric motors for four-wheel drive. The others feature 272 hp from a single motor and rear-wheel drive. Though the Brabus can hit 0-100 km/hour in 3,7 seconds, calling the others snails would be offending, as they perform the same acceleration in 5,8 seconds.

As for range, with 455 kilometers, the normal versions last 40 kilometers longer in between charging sessions than the Brabus, which sits on 20-inch wheels. Fast charging can be done at 150 kW.

Flush door handles

With a length of 4,4 meters, the #3 is quite stretched for a brand that has built up a reputation on microcars. The design, however, with the rakish roof and a so-called ‘shark-nose’, according to Smart, doesn’t come as a surprise. It has become the in-house form language.

However, aerodynamics played a decisive part in this design. There are flush door handles on the side to optimize the airflow, and on the back, we see taillights connected by a bar or the typical signature for the all-electric EQ models from parent Mercedes.

Its wheelbase of 2 785 millimeters suggests it can comfortably transport up to five people, and while it is similarly sized to the VW ID.5, the weight is a few hundred kilos less (1 810 kilos for the #3 against 2 117 kilos for the VW).

Sibling to the Volvo EX30

The #3 builds upon the scalable Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) from Geely, which is also used by the Zeekr X, the Volvo EX30, the Lotus Eletre, and, of course, the #1.

It still isn’t clear whether the 49 kWh LFP pack (lithium-ferro-phosphate) will be made available later, which is scheduled for the #1 as a cheaper alternative.

Conquest model

In the interior, occupants are met by a 12,8-inch wide infotainment touchscreen, seats with integrated headrests, and a Beats sound system with 13 speakers. The minimalistic-modern design is flattered by turbine-style air vents, ambient lighting, and a panoramic sunroof though the latter will be available on the options list.

The #3 is a conquest model for the brand and must attract new buyers who previously showed no interest in Smart.


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