With the year 2022 begins a new era in Smart. With the Smart # 1 electric mini-SUV, the brand says goodbye to the micro-mobility of the Smart Fortwo. Smart is now a joint venture between Mercedes and Chinese manufacturer Geely and from this alliance comes Smart # 1, which will be produced in China.
At first glance one cannot fail to notice a fresh look for this new model. Inside the large 12.8-inch screen in the center of the dashboard, used for most of the information while driving, strikingly resembles the one installed in the Tesla Model 3. The “real” buttons are few and behind the wheel there is only one very small display for the speedometerthe charge levell’ autonomy and so on.
Everything looks clean, modern, not overloaded and there is 64-color ambient lighting. Of course, software updates arrive wirelessly over the air. A avatar like “smart companion”Should relieve the driver in many respects while driving, using voice control and constantly letting the artificial intelligence learn new things.
Using the smart app, the car can be opened and started without key via smartphone and at the same time “shared” with others. So it is clear how simple it is to manage a private car sharing. Those who are authorized only need a smartphone, therefore a physical key exchange is obsolete. To prevent misuse, the technology should be encrypted according to the latest standards. The door handles extend electrically as the owner approaches and the windows are frameless, like a coupe.
But one of the aspects that made the Smart so famous is no longer present (obviously): so goodbye to parking in tiny spaces and maneuvers in traffic worthy of a scooter. After all, the new Smart # 1 has dimensions that roughly match those of a VW Golf or Mini Countryman. The manufacturer claims it is 4.27 meters long, 1.82 meters wide and 1.64 meters high. It is not very big, but it can be considered “huge” compared to the Smart original.
In any case, this should benefit the available space. Smart # 1 is approved for five seats, the legroom in the second row looks pretty decent (according to the photos) and the rear seat 60:40 foldable can be moved forward or backward by 13 centimeters, to have more space in the trunk or, in the case, more space for the legs. The volume of the trunk therefore goes from 273 to 411 liters depending on the position of the sofa. Under the “hood” at the front there is a small compartment suitable, for example, for storing the charging cable.
Smart # 1, intelligent electric SUV with a range of up to 440 kilometers
As regards the quality as pure as an electric car Smart # 1 doesn’t disappoint. In the underbody is a 66 kWh battery, which is unusually large for this vehicle class and should allow for a range of 420 to 440 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle.
Charging is performed on charging columns AC up to 22 kW : this is also the exception rather than the rule. In purely mathematical terms, the battery should be able to be charged up in three hours from a public charging station. In fast charging stations, a charging capacity of up to 150 kW is possible, with Smart promising a charging time of less than 30 minutes to go from 10 to 80% of autonomy. Therefore, Smart # 1 should leave its usual territory (the city) more often to go even to more distant destinations.
Also the engine power of 200 kW/272 CV it is not at all obvious, which gives reason to expect very sporty driving performance. Smart does not mention the acceleration values yet, but only the maximum speed of 180 km / h and the torque of 343 Nm. The power is transmitted through the rear wheels, while four-wheel drive does not seem to be an option available for the moment. All information speak of a suitable adult electric car for everyday use, but it would seem not cheap.
As for safety, the new Smart SUV will be equipped with the Smart Pilot packagewhat to understand Adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, Lane Keeping Assist, Auto Park Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highway and Queue Assist, Adaptive High Beam Assist.
Although Smart has not yet revealed the prices, based on the rumors it is possible to hypothesize a base price between 35,000 and 40,000 euros. The launch on the Italian market it will take place in January 2023, but orders can be placed from September 2022.