Remember the Mercedes-Benz off-shoot Smart (spelt ‘s’ lower case)?
Well, in partnership with Chinese Geely, the brand has been re-invented as an electric franchise and will launch soon in the UK.
The Smart #1 will initially be available in four versions:
The #1 follows the Concept 1 from 2021, but with minimal changes.
The suicide doors have been replaced and larger lights and mirrors fitted, along with cut outs for the pop-out door handles — but that’s about it.
It also retains the Concept 1’s frameless windows.
The #1 will be the first car to be offered online as well as through dealers.
It’s been more than two decades since the launch of the revolutionary pint-sized fortwo.
You still see the odd fortwo and forfour around, but the brand bid farewell to Australia in 2015.
The new #1 adopts a completely different format aimed at capturing a larger slice of the electric market.
Based on Geely’s EV-specific SEA (Sustainable Experience Architecture) platform and staying true to Smart’s long-standing drive for practicality, efficiency and style, it makes full use of a 2750mm wheelbase with a spacious five-seat cabin and up to 421 litres of cargo space thanks to a standard sliding second row (986 litres with the rear seats folded).
The #1 Pro+ comes with an extensive range of driving assistance systems, panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, heated seats, a 360-degree surround camera, intelligent voice assistance, LED lights and a powered tailgate.
The electric powertrain produces 200kW of power and 343Nm of torque, with drive to the rear wheels.
With a 66kWh nickel-cobalt-manganese battery, it is expected to offer a driving range of up to 440km (WLTP).
Top speed is 180km/h and it dispatches the dash from 0-100km/h in 6.9 seconds.
Premium adds Beats audio, head-up display, matrix LED headlights and automatic parking.
While the Launch Edition combines unique design traits and exclusive aesthetics with the long feature list of the Premium, with just 100 UK examples available.
Brabus ups the ante with all-wheel drive, 315kW of power and 584Nm of torque and a 0-100km/h time that is a whisker over 4.0 seconds.
It features more aggressive styling, bonnet vents, unique contrast paint and 19-inch Dynamo wheels.
There’s also an alcantara steering wheel, microfibre suede seats and headrests with Brabus design stitching, along with red seatbelts and metal pedals.
“For us at Brabus, partnering with Smart feels completely natural, as we both keep on challenging the status quo to improve our brands and products further,” Brabus CEO Constantin Buschmann said.
“For the #1 we keep on pushing the envelope of our partnership to integrate the essence of Brabus into a very capable car and future-oriented mobility concept, that is accessible for a wide variety of people.
“We are very happy with the result and see the #1 as a more than worthy starting point for a new era of our great relationship with smart going forward.”
The Smart Pro+ is priced from “just” £35,950 driveaway. No word whether we’ll get it here in Australia, but you never know.