We had discovered it in the living room of Munich last year in the form of a concept car. We find it today in its final form without twisting or distorting the original design. Everything is there, outside and inside, and the first impression of this Smart #1 (which should be called Hashtag One) is quite positive. The small brand that was said to be dying is trying to be reborn and grow with a first all-electric SUV, and stylistically it has passed its first exam.
It is clear that some elements that appear on the concept fell on the plot of profitability, such as the antagonistic doors or the individual seats in the back. For the rest, everything is there, especially the famous floating roof (and glass) of a differentiated color of the body that falls on the rear pillar and not without evoking the lines of a fire Opel Adam† Another loan: the front has an air already seen on the latest Korean productions, at kia and hyundai†
These jokes aside, the general lines are ultra-simple, in total break with the current haunted angular design. #1 is a very round pebble. A desire reflected in the retractable door handles.
The main lines of the concept are also respected inside. The floating console, which runs between the front seats, is still on the program, as is the large 12.8-inch central screen that sits on the console. The concept’s two rear seats have become a 60/40 sliding and split bench seat and the 5 passengers (who will be content with 4 for long journeys) will be able to enjoy a sound system from the American brand Beats with its 13 speakers.
But if this Smart Hashtag One is a rounded pebble, it’s not a small pebble. With this 4.27 m long city SUV, the brand wants to forget its past full of mini city cars. Renault Captur or that a Peugeot 2008, but if it plays in the same size category despite everything, it’s not of the same caliber on the price side. We certainly don’t know them yet, but the Smart SUV is openly premium. And not just because of the build quality, which is pretty good from what we’ve seen.
With Smart, the premium is hidden in the accessories (high-end sound system and matrix LED lighting front and rear) but also under the hood and under the floor, with 66 kWh batteries that power a 200 kW (272 hp) motor. Enough to provide a range of almost 440 km.
The machine, somewhat lighter than many of its motorized counterparts, still weighs 1,870 kg, which should still give it a nice acceleration to reach its maximum speed of 180 km/h. On the charging side, it plugs into a wall outlet and takes 3 hours to return to 80% charge, or DC power (offered as standard) to reach the same charge in 30 minutes. Finally, Smart officials have promised: they plan to join the Ionity consortium soon.
This mechanism, usually reserved for larger cars, is not really the responsibility of Smart. The Mercedes division took care of the design, but all the hidden part is the work of the Chinese Geely. This Hashtag One was designed in Germany and China, but assembled there, in a factory owned 50/50 by the two brands. the platform, called ACE, should soon be used by Geely on other future cars as well.
A price announced in September
An electric SUV, which is also premium, is expensive. And the price of this Smart is the great mystery of the moment. It should be lifted in September, when pre-orders open. Deliveries, meanwhile, should begin in January 2023. However, so far we have only discovered one model and one #1 engine. Are there other, less powerful ones on the program? “We don’t deny” indicates the direction of the mark. And is a Brabus version, more overtly sporty, planned according to a Smart tradition? “We’re Thinking About It” says the same source. To be continued.