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Smart #1 gets world premiere

Say hello to the ‘grown up, cool’ new #1, an all-electric SUV crossover that marks the beginning of a brand new era for manufacturer Smart.

Let’s first rewind to 2020.

Having gone through a bit of a dry patch, the Mercedes-Benz-owned brand announced that Chinese firm Geely had purchased a 50 per cent stake - and had big ambitions to grow Smart’s offering of small city cars.

A ‘new generation’ of all-electric vehicles was lined-up for release in 2022, with the styling coming from the Mercedes-Benz design team while also leaning heavily on Geely’s success with other manufacturers that sit under its umbrella, including Polestar, Lotus and Volvo.

And this - the #1 - is the first entry in that aforementioned new chapter.

As it stands, the Smart range consists solely of the two-seater Smart EQ fortwo and the larger Smart EQ forfour, both of which are battery powered and have a range of up to 81 miles.

The #1, on the other hand, is a different beast entirely and moves Smart into exciting new waters.

Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Mercedes-Benz AG, says: 

“The new smart #1 stands for the re-start of the smart brand and showcases our new design DNA of Sensual Product. It is grown up, cool and embodies beauty with smart solutions. Therefore, it is new, fresh, and enchanting. Our new smart #1 has the potential to make smart a leading design brand.”

It certainly looks the part, and should provide stiff competition to the likes of the VW ID. 3, Kia Niro EV and Vauxhall Mokka-e.

There are concealed electric door handles, frameless doors, and what Smart describes as a ‘floating halo roof’, which is slightly reminiscent of the recently-discontinued Vauxhall Adam.

There are large 19 inch alloys and with a length of 4270mm the #1 is about the same size as a Volkswagen Golf.

The single motor, rear-wheel drive Smart #1 isn’t lacking grunt either.

The firm promises power of 272 PS - or 200kW in electrical terms - and superfast charging that’ll enable you to replenish the 66kWh battery from 10-80% in just 30 minutes. Plug it into a standard 22kW charger you’ll hit that 80% mark in 3 hours.

Smart hasn’t revealed just how quick the #1 will be, but you can expect it to go like the proverbial scalded cat.

Meanwhile another big selling point for the #1 will be its state-of-the-art connectivity.

A spokesperson explains: 

“The all-new smart will feature an avatar as intelligent companion with AI based voice control within its user interface. This seamlessly ties into the interconnected ecosystem of the car, the smart app, and data clouds – all linked with personal smart ID and protected by highest cyber security encryption standards.”

This digital ‘ecosystem’ will see lease customers benefiting from over-the-air software updates as well as a peer-to-peer support system connecting other Smart motorists.

Dirk Adelmann, CEO smart Europe, adds:

“We are very proud to finally present the production version of our smart #1. It is not only a symbol for our new smart approach, but it is also the nucleus of all things to come. With the re-branding we will put an even greater focus on a seamless mobility experience.”

We’ll bring you further details - including on the launch date - when they arrive.

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Monday, 27/06/2022