Smart Car Grows Up, Gets a 268 HP Electric SUV
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Smart Car Grows Up, Gets a 268 HP Electric SUV

Once known for its teeny-tiny two seaters that could park nose-in to a curb, the Smart Car company is growing up with a new, 268 hp electric crossover SUV called Smart #1.

The Smart #1 is both the first dedicated electric vehicle from the brand and the first model born from the joint venture between the Mercedes-Benz Group and Geely Holdings (parent company of both Volvo and Polestar). Interestingly, that’s not read as, “Smart ‘number’ 1.” It’s a hashtag. Like, “Smart ‘hashtag‘ 1.”

Laughable as it might seem, at first– the name makes a sort of sense. This isn’t the first Smart car, after all. But it is the first connected Smart car, and that “hashtag” is a nod to the technology being showcased in the new small crossover.

“We are very proud to finally present the production version of our Smart #1,” says Dirk Adelman, CEO Smart Europe GmbH. “It is not only a symbol for our new smart approach, but it is also the nucleus of all things to come. With the re-branding we will put an even greater focus on a seamless mobility experience.”

The all-new Smart will feature an avatar AI companion (think Siri, or Alexa) with voice controls baked into its UI. The company claims it “seamlessly” ties into the electronic ecosystem of the car, the Smart app, and “data clouds” that work together “to meet the needs of users in terms of ever-changing mobility.”

Smart says its centralized, high-performance computer architecture ensures OTA updates, so that more than 75 % of all ECUs in the car can be continuously iterated and updated remotely. Smart sees these connected technologies as “enablers for an authentic and worry-free electric mobility experience.”

 

Smart #1 Connected Interior

Image courtesy Smart.
 

As for the car, itself, its new, crossover form gives drivers a commanding view of the road and a 360-degree view of the world around them. The Smart #1 also provides a 200kW peak performance and will be capable of AC charging from 10-80 percent in under 20 minutes on a DC fast-charger.

And, of course, it has four doors. Another Smart first– and one that symbolizes the brand’s move from a boutique urban product to something that’s a little more mainstream. That seems to be how the company’s executives see things, too. “The new Smart #1 stands for the re-start of the smart brand and showcases our new design DNA of Sensual Product,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Mercedes-Benz Group AG.  “It is grown up, cool and embodies beauty with smart solutions. Therefore, it is new, fresh, and enchanting. Our new smart #1 has the potential to make smart a leading design brand.”

 

Smart #1

SOURCE | IMAGES: SMART.

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AUTHOR: 

JO BORRAS (EIC)

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