Smart’s first SUV will be all-electric and it will arrive in 2022

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Smart, the Daimler AG subsidiary known for the tiny Fortwo and Forfour models, is working on its first-ever crossover. There’s no specific timeline as to when it will be unveiled and released to dealerships, but we do know that it will be an all-electric vehicle. Confirmed by Daniel Lescow, the brand’s vice president of global sales, on LinkedIn, the upcoming crossover was described as the new alpha in the urban jungle.

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While the Fortwo and Forfour models were developed on underpinnings borrowed from Renault, the upcoming SUV will be built on a platform designed by Chinese company Geely. Why Geely? Well, the Chinese giant purchased a 50-percent stake in the German brand back in March 2019, following an agreement with Daimler to move production to China. Geely will start production of next-generation Smart cars in its home country in 2022, a plan that includes the new all-electric SUV.

The compact crossover will ride on Geely’s recently developed SAE scalable platform. It’s currently being used by a number of Lynk & Co vehicles and Volvo will also unveil a compact model built on these underpinnings. Geely will develop the new Smart with help from Mercedes-Benz and it seems that the mini SUV will be aimed primarily at the Chinese market, where EVs and crossovers are becoming increasingly popular. The crossover will be sold in Europe too, but it might not cross the pond to the United States.

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Details about this new Smart vehicle are unavailable, but Lescow says it will be "exceptional" and "instantly recognizable as smart, ultra-modern, and sophisticated."

"Most importantly, it will possess the ’smartest’ of all characteristics – super-compact on the outside and big on the inside," he added.

The Smart crossover will be the company’s first new vehicle in almost 10 years

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When it will arrive in 2022, the crossover will be the brand’s first brand-new vehicle since 2014. That’s when Smart introduced the latest-generation Fortwo and Forfour. In 2017, Smart unveiled all-electric variants of the two, called Electric Drive. The crossover will also be the company’s fourth nameplate since Smart joined the auto industry back in 1994. Besides the already familiar Fortwo and Forfour, Smart also offered the Roadster, a two-seater sports car, from 2003 to 2005.

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The upcoming electric crossover isn’t the company’s first attempt at the SUV market. Back in the early 2000s, the German brand designed an SUV based on the same platform as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It was supposed to share features and technology with the GLK, the GLC’s predecessor, including V-6 engines. Initial plans included an official unveiling at the 2005 Frankfurt Auto Show under the Formore name, but development was halted due to financial concerns. In 2009, a prototype of the Formore was found in a Mercedes-Benz storage facility in Germany.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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