Smart is no longer a struggling boutique carmaker like it used to be. It is now a 50:50 joint venture between Daimler and the Chinese company Geely. Smart #1 is the first model of the rebooted brand and it lays the foundation of the company’s EV-only strategy.
Smart’s compact EV comes with a single, rear-mounted electric motor, which produces 200 kilowatts (268 horsepower) and drives the rear wheels. There is also a 66-kWh battery, which allows for a range of 273 miles (445 km), according to the WLTP standard.
The compact EV will be capable of AC charging, which allows for a 10- to 80-percent charge in three hours, at 22 kW. With DC charging, the 10- to 80-percent charging comes in under 30 minutes, at 150 kW.
|Powertrain||electric engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Range||273 miles (445 km)|
|Top Speed||180 km/h (112 mph)|
With the new model comes a new design language of the brand. The design is very similar to what we see on the Mini Countryman. At 168.9 inches (4,290 mm) long, 75.1 inches (1,910 mm) wide, 67 inches (1,700 mm) tall, and with a wheelbase of 108.2 inches (2,750 mm), the Smart #1 is well into sub-compact SUV territory.
|Length||168.9 inches (4,290 mm)|
|Width||75.1 inches (1,910 mm)|
|Height||67 inches (1,700 mm)|
|Wheelbase||108.2 inches (2,750 mm)|
The interior of the Smart #1 is one place where the Daimler connection can easily be noticed. Much of the cockpit styling features design cues from the latest Mercedes models. The flat-bottom steering wheel incorporates clusters of buttons, resembling those on some Mercedes models.
The same is true for the high-center console and centrally-positioned, 12.8-inch infotainment screen, protruding from the top of the dashboard. The flexible interior allows the rear seats to move back and forth, depending on whether you need more legroom or cargo space.
As part of the Daimler-Geely joint venture, the compact EV will be built in China and based on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA). Production of the Smart #1 is scheduled for the last quarter of 2022. In addition to being a new start for the boutique manufacturer, this is also the largest Smart model ever made. At the time of writing this, the sub-compact EV is in the process of EU homologation. Prices are yet to be announced.
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