Less than a year after the presentation of Concept #1, smart has revealed its first vehicle developed under the orbit of the joint venture formed by Geely and Mercedes-Benz in 2019: #1, an electric SUV that will have to face the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE and the future MINI Paceman within the premium B-SUV segment.
With this model, smart wants to expand into new market niches, since until now its offer has focused on the unprofitable segment A (urban). Thus, the firm aspires to open a gap by offering zero-emission products with a casual and youthful design equipped with the latest technology from the Geely group, in charge of the technical development of the “new” smart.
Mercedes-Benz for its part is responsible for the aesthetics of the vehicle, which inaugurates a design language differentiated from the previous EQ Fortwo and EQ forfour. The front is characterized by a striking Shark Nose (“shark nose”), while in the rear there has been a commitment to some pilots attached to the width of the gate, following the prevailing fashion in the market.
The front air intake, placed in a very low position, shows its electric nature, while the floating roof in contrast adds a chic touch to the whole. Although the wheel arches and the plastic skirts make it clear that we are facing an SUV, its aerodynamics is very careful about its size and segment, since it announces a coefficient of just 0.29.
Smart #1 is based on Geely’s SEA platform
Smart #1 measures 4.27 meters long, 1.82 meters wide, and 1.64 meters high, while its wheelbase is 2.75 meters. Its trunk is cubic 323 liters; In addition, under the front hood, there is a 15-liter frunk (front trunk) similar to what we can find in some Tesla models.
The passenger compartment maintains the main lines of Concept #1, with a T-shaped console that is somewhat reminiscent of some proposals from Mercedes-Benz. The 9.2-inch digital instrumentation and 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system break with the prevailing minimalism in the interior, although the combination of white, black, and metallic surfaces allows the dashboard to be given a resolutely futuristic look.
Smart #1 debuts a voice control system based on Artificial Intelligence. In addition, it has OTA updates and a wide arsenal of ADAS (driving aids), including the smart Pilot, a pack that includes adaptive cruise control, the blind spot detection system, the involuntary lane change warning, highway and traffic jam assistant, light assistant…
Our protagonist sits on Geely’s SEA platform, which will also reach Volvo’s next electric B-SUV. Its 272 CV (200 kW) and 343 Nm electric motor coupled to the rear axle (it is rear-wheel drive) allows it to reach a top speed of 180 km/h, while the 66 kWh battery pack with NCM cells (nickel, cobalt, manganese) gives it a maximum range of 440 km WLTP. It can charge at powers of up to 22 kW in alternating current (10-80% in less than 3 hours) and 150 kW in direct current (10-80% in less than 30 minutes).
Its commercial launch will take place this year, and although it will be sold in Europe, it will be produced in China. Its arrival will be accompanied by a new direct sales model: the smart #1 will be purchased online from the manufacturer itself, while a series of selected Mercedes-Benz dealers (acting as simple agents) will have a brand exhibition.