Smart has unveiled a preview of the first production model of the company’s new generation of all-electric vehicles.
The SUV concept vehicle takes the Smart brand into the high-growth small and compact car segment. The near-production Concept #1 transfers very compact exterior dimensions and the traditional design into a new vehicle concept with a significantly higher premium and high-tech claim, according to Daniel Lescow, Vice President Global Sales, Marketing & After-Sales of Smart Automobile.
“We’re celebrating an important milestone with the Smart Concept #1, which is the forerunner of the next Smart generation,” he said. “The near-production study is an exciting taste of what our customers can expect from the Smart brand. The new Smart Concept #1 is the first glimpse of our vision of a new and sustainable mobility. It’s characterised by progressive design, premium equipment and advanced technology.”
One of the central design features of this futuristic EV is the large panoramic glass roof with a striking ring of light. The seamless transition to the windscreen and to the window surfaces of the frameless doors makes the roof appear to float above the body – an impression further enhanced by the atmospheric roof lighting.
A first hint of the new dimension of digitalisation of future smart vehicles is provided by the concealed door handles, which are merely indicated by light elements. The rear doors of the Concept #1 are hinged at the back and open in the opposite direction from the front doors. This portal door concept makes it particularly easy to get in and out of the car.
Despite its compact exterior dimensions, the interior of the Smart is extremely spacious thanks to its wheels positioned far out to the corners of the vehicle. The purpose-designed BEV architecture also means that, like the future five-seater production model, the four-seater study offers legroom and elbow room on par with vehicles from higher segments as well as plenty of storage space.
Meanwhile, one of the design highlights in the interior of the EV is the centre console, which floats between the front seats and merges seamlessly with the unique dashboard design. The central control element is the free-standing 3D touchscreen with a 12.8-inch display. An AI avatar helps the user navigate through the menus and functions. Thanks to artificial intelligence, this virtual companion constantly learns from the user's behaviour and can thus adapt increasingly to their individual preferences.
Smart said that the next generation of models will offer the highest level of dynamic handling and passive safety. Moreover, the platform will give the vehicles multiple further benefits. These include a long battery life and fast-charging functions as well as a wide range of cloud-based over-the-air updates for vehicle software.
The newly developed smart app for smartphones will also add to the high level of user convenience. It will not only function as a digital key, but will also enable the seamless integration of various connected services and functions into the user's digital ecosystem.