Daimler and Geely have teamed up to reinvent the Smart Brand. Concept #1 is the first of many EVs to comeby Dim Angelov, on LISTEN 02:47
Smart is one of those obscure automotive names that you don’t really pay much attention to. They are mostly known for their ForTwo model, which isn’t really worth mentioning, or the fun Smart Roadster, which could have been a great car if it wasn’t for the atrocious automated manual gearbox. Now, however, there might actually be a valid reason to talk about Smart, as they’ve introduced a funky sub-compact crossover at the IAA Munich auto show, called Concept #1.
2021 Smart Concept #1
Before we move on to the actual car, it’s worth noting that Smart has changed a lot over the past few years. It’s now a 50:50 joint venture between Daimler and Geely and is no longer the struggling boutique carmaker it once was.
Smart Concept #1 speaks of the company’s EV-only strategy and is essentially a new beginning for the brand, which from now on, will make electric vehicles only.
By all accounts, it looks like it will be a rival to the Mini Countryman, which in 2023 will get an EV version of its own. In terms of dimensions, Concept #1 is 4.29 meters (168.9 inches) long, 1.91 meters (75.1 inches) wide, and 1.7 meters (67.0 inches) tall. The short overhangs suggest a relatively long wheelbase, in relation to the car’s overall length. As it happens the Concept #1 sits on a wheelbase that’s 2.75 meters (108.2 inches) long. The athletic looks are further enhanced by 21-inch wheels and thin LED headlights and taillights.
|Length||4.29 meters (168.9 inches)|
|Width||1.91 meters (75.1 inches)|
|Height||1.7 meters (67.0 inches)|
|Wheelbase||2.75 meters (108.2 inches)|
There's no word on any of the performance figures of Concept #1, but we do know it will offer fast-charging capabilities, over-the-air updates, long range, and a next-gen infotainment system.
The “highest level of dynamic handling” is what Smart promises to give you, with their Concept #1, which speaks of the joint venture’s strife to establish Smart as a serious and competitive carmaker in the fast-growing EV market.
The Smart Concept #1 was designed by Daimler – something that becomes obvious once you look at the dashboard design, and is heavily inspired by current Mercedes models, including a 12.8-inch center touchscreen. With that being said, the sub-compact crossover will be made in China and based on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA).
A production version of the Smart Concept #1 will first go on sale next year, in China and Europe. As that time gets near, we also expect to learn the actual name of the car, as well as price and performance figures.