The Smart brand will never be what it was. After a few years of transition, the company belonging to Mercedes-Benz opens up a new path. It will follow the electric path that it had already embarked on, although it will do so with completely new products, and not so small ones. Officially there is already a name for the first of its new generation cars: Smart #1 . An unoriginal name that keeps some very interesting details inside.
Rarely have we witnessed the renewal of a brand of such magnitude. After saying goodbye to the past, Smart looks for a new approach , and he does it hand in hand with Geely . The Chinese and the Germans have signed a transfer/collaboration agreement by which the next models of the family will be manufactured in China for the whole world . Both firms have promoted the rebirth of Smart, although a few million euros have been left along the way.
But returning to the case at hand, the Smart #1 borrows the name of the prototype presented in the middle of last year . The creatives think that the combination of symbol and number is very attractive. The 1 because we are facing the first model of that rebirth, and the hash to refer to the symbol used in social networks to indicate the hottest topics or the most followed trends.
Be that as it may, the point is that Smart’s #1 has been seen for the first time with his final appearance. The design has been carried out by Mercedes, but the Chinese have also contributed their grain of sand with the use of the wind tunnel of the Chongqing Automotive Engineering Research Institute. In these facilities , an aerodynamic coefficient of 0.29 has been verified, a very good figure considering the shapes of the vehicle .
The Smart #1 will be an SUV, a small SUV, but an SUV nonetheless. The shapes do not favor subtly cutting through the air, but the engineering work has managed to reduce drag to the minimum possible. This factor will be decisive when it comes to improving autonomy data, a field in which Smart has to improve a lot compared to the electric ForFour and Fortwo that have recently ceased production . Surely the engineers and the knowledge of Mercedes in the matter will be an important support.
Although tests in real conditions have been underway for months, it is the first time that Smart has presented its vehicle to us at the development stage. With hundreds of thousands of kilometers to go, the different scenarios will serve to fine-tune systems as vital as thermal management . At the moment the test units are in northern China, exercising in one of the coldest places in the world with temperatures as low as -40 degrees.
It will still take a few more months to see the final and finished product. Smart #1 has months and long days of preparation and testing left. The plans set take us until the end of this year for commercial launch. Before that date it will be officially presented. Many voices suggest that the great revelation will be at the next Beijing Motor Show , whose opening date is set for April 21.