Smart kicks off all-electric brand renewal with #1 compact crossover
Following a "near production" concept reveal last year, the 50/50 Mercedes-Benz and Geely Automobile partnership that is the new Smart has now debuted the production version of its #1 compact electric crossover SUV in Berlin.
"The world premiere of the Smart #1 in Berlin marks another milestone on the incredible road of development we began with the brand's renewal," said Smart CEO, Tong Xiangbei. "As the first of the new generation all-electric product family, the all-new Smart #1 is the perfect embodiment of this renewal. Now, Smart has entered a new phase of full speed development, further spurred on by our Europe and China "dual-home" business strategy. Our team, working between Europe and China, are making fantastic progress, and we are extremely confident that the global market will embrace the unique, premium all-electric urban mobility experience offering from Smart."
As we predicted back in September 2021, the always eye-popping suicide doors haven't made it from concept to production model, but the panoramic glass roof and 12.8-inch infotainment panel remain, as do the customizable ambient interior lighting setup and onboard AI digital companion.
The Smart #1 comes in a little smaller than the Concept #1 too, at a still relatively large (for a Smart vehicle) 4,270 x 1,822 x 1,636 mm (168 x 71.7 x 64.4 in), with a 2,750-mm (108.2 in) wheelbase and empty weight of 1,820 kg (4,012 lb). And 19-inch wheels wrapped in 235/45 R19 tires replace the concept's 21-inch wheels.
The 200-kW motor produces 343 Nm (252.9 lb.ft) of torque and gives the compact SUV a top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph). A 66-kWh NCM (nickel/cobalt/manganese) battery pack is reported good for between 420 and 440 km (260-273 miles) of per-charge range on the WLTP cycle, and there's support for 150-kW fast charging for a top up to 80 percent capacity in under 30 minutes.
Cool touches on the exterior include hidden electric handles in the frameless doors that are surrounded by lighting as the authorized driver approaches, a funky light bar between toppled Y-shaped daytime running lights front and back, fluid turn signaling and Matrix LED headlights.
Inside, a "floating" center console stylishly divides the driver and passenger while that Full HD touchscreen infotainment display is joined by a 9.2-inch digital instrument cluster and 10-inch head-up display. Smart has treated occupants to a Beats Audio sound system with 13 speaker modules, including a sub. And up to 411 liters of trunk space is available, plus 15 L more in the frunk.
A driver assistance package includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, active lane keeping, blind spot assist and auto parking assist. Smart connectivity tech is designed to "form one coherent, intuitive, and adapting ecosystem" and includes a companion mobile app and cloud data storage all linked to a personal ID protected by the "highest cyber security encryption standards."
Owners are able to allocate a digital key to friends or family via the app for shared use potential, and more than 75 percent of the car's ECUs can receive over-the-air updates to help future-proof the vehicle.
The Smart #1 will be available for pre-order from September in Europe, when pricing will be revealed. A full sales launch is planned for the end of the year. The video below has more.