the brand’s electric revival SUV plays design and premium

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 the original design being twisted or distorted. Everything is there, inside and out, 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 tries to be reborn and grow with a first fully electric SUV and, at least stylistically, it has passed its first approval test.

A smooth profile, enhanced by a floating roof in a different colour.

Obviously, some elements that appeared in the concept fell into the field of honor of profitability, such as the antagonistic doors or the individual seats in the rear. For the rest, everything is there, especially the famous floating roof (and glass) of a different color from the bodywork that falls on the rear pillar and that does not stop evoking the lines of a fire. Vauxhall Adam. Another loan: the front has an air already seen in the latest Korean productions, in What Y hyundai.

Apart from these jokes, the general lines are ultra-simple, in total break with the current tortuous angular design. #1 is a very round pebble. A desire that is evident in the retractable door handles.

A floating center console that runs between the dash and the rear of the passenger seats.
A floating center console that runs between the dash and the rear of the passenger seats.
A respectable trunk of 411 l.
A respectable trunk of 411 l.

The main lines of the concept are also respected in the interior. The floating console, which runs between the front seats, is still on the program, as is the large 12.8-inch center screen that sits in the console. The two rear seats of the concept have been converted into a 60/40 sliding and divided bench and the 5 passengers (who will be content with being 4 for long trips) will be able to enjoy a sound system from the American brand Beats with its 13 speakers.

A 12.8-inch screen...
A 12.8-inch screen…
...and retractable door handles.
…and retractable door handles.

But if this Smart Hashtag One is a rounded pebble, it is not a small pebble. The brand wants to forget its past dotted with mini-city cars with this 4.27 m long urban SUV, slightly shorter than a renault capture or what a Peugeot 2008, but if it plays in the same size category regardless, it’s not quite the same caliber on the price side. We certainly don’t know about them yet, but the Smart SUV is overtly premium. And not only because of its build quality, which is pretty good from what we’ve seen.

A dashboard without buttons.
A dashboard without buttons.

In Smart, the premium is hidden in the accessories (high-end sound system and Matrix LED lights at the front and rear) but also under the hood and under the floor, with 66 kWh batteries that will fill 200 kW of electricity ( 272 hp) engine. Enough to offer a range of almost 440 km.

Significantly lighter than many of its motorized colleagues, the machine still weighs in at 1,870kg, which should nonetheless give it good acceleration to reach its stated top speed of 180km/h. On the charging side, it plugs into an AC outlet and requires 3 hours to recover to an 80% charge level, or DC (offered as standard) to achieve the same charge in 30 minutes. Finally, Smart officials have promised: they plan to join the Ionity consortium shortly.

Less powerful and sportier versions to come?  Mystery.
Less powerful and sportier versions to come? Mystery.

This mechanism, usually reserved for larger cars, isn’t really Smart’s responsibility. The Mercedes division was in charge of the design, but all the hidden part is the work of the Chinese Geely. This Hashtag One is designed in Germany and China, but is assembled there, in a factory owned 50/50 between the two brands. Geely should quickly use the platform, called ACE, in other future cars as well.

A known price in September

An electric SUV, which is also premium, is expensive. And the price of this Smart is the great unknown of the moment. It should go up in September, when pre-orders open. In the meantime, deliveries should start in January 2023. However, so far we have only discovered one model and one No. #1. Are there others less powerful in the program? “We do not deny it” indicates the direction of the mark. And is a more overtly sporty version of Brabus planned, in keeping with Smart tradition? “We are thinking about it” says the same source. To be continue.

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