New 2022 Smart electric SUV to rival Peugeot e-2008

The new Smart SUV will use an electric platform developed by Geely and our exclusive images preview how it could look

Small-car maker Smart has confirmed that it will launch its first SUV in 2022. It will use a new modular electric platform developed by Chinese giant Geely.

It’s the first major Smart product announcement since Mercedes parent company Daimler established a new global joint venture with Volvo owner Geely for the Smart brand in early 2020.

Smart has never made an SUV, but it has flirted with the idea in the past. In 2005 it was due to reveal a compact SUV concept called the ForMore at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but the idea was canned before a prototype was finished. Motor-show specials such as 2012’s ForUs and ForStars duo have also been revealed, but without any serious production intent behind them.

According to a blog post on networking site Linkedin from Smart Vice President of Global Sales, Daniel Lescow, the new model won’t see the firm abandon its compact principles. It will be “instantly recognisable” as a Smart, with “super-compact” exterior dimensions and clever use of interior space.

Mercedes will design the car, with engineering and development work taken care of by Geely, since it will be built in China. But Lescow promises that the car will also come to Europe, and five-star Euro NCAP safety scores are targeted.

While the Smart SUV will be a compact vehicle, it’s likely to move up in size from the current range of city cars, becoming the company’s first supermini-sized vehicle since the original ForFour of 2004. Last January, Smart confirmed that it would look to move into this sector with a focus on “premium electric vehicles”. As such, the new SUV should shape up as a rival for the Peugeot e-2008 and DS 3 Crossback E-Tense.

The Smart SUV will be built on Geely’s new Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), which will underpin every next-generation Smart, as well as numerous models from Geely’s eight other brands. SEA shares elements of its design with the CMA platform that underpins the Volvo XC40 and Polestar 2, and it’s a platform Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson has already confirmed will be found under new compact Volvos.

Geely describes SEA as being highly scalable and claims that it’s suitable for vehicles ranging from city cars to large saloons. A light commercial vehicle variant of the platform with four-wheel drive is also being developed.

Key specifications have yet to be revealed, but in its largest form the SEA platform will support electric cars capable of 435 miles on a single charge, while over-the-air updates and next-generation autonomous driver-assistance technologies are promised.

Given the likely footprint of the Smart SUV, battery capacity will be limited, so a range of 435 miles seems unlikely. Instead expect something around the 200-mile mark to ensure it’s competitive with its main rival from Peugeot. If Smart targeted the technical capability of the Hyundai Kona Electric, a range nearer 300 miles would be necessary.

It’s too early to get a sense of accurate pricing, but Smart won’t be abandoning its premium ambitions. A starting price of around £29,000 after the Government grant would make it a competitive player in a segment that’s growing in popularity.

Check out the best small SUVs you can buy now...

Recommended

New 2021 Honda HR-V launched with e:HEV hybrid powertrain
Honda HR-V - front
Honda HR-V

New 2021 Honda HR-V launched with e:HEV hybrid powertrain

Honda’s new HR-V crossover features fresh styling, better packaging and a new 129bhp 1.5-litre twin-motor hybrid powertrain
22 Apr 2021
New 2021 Citroen C3 Aircross: UK prices and specs revealed
Citroen C3 Aircross - front tracking
Citroen C3 Aircross

New 2021 Citroen C3 Aircross: UK prices and specs revealed

The updated Citroen C3 Aircross SUV is on sale now from £17,320, with three trim levels and three powertrains to choose from
15 Mar 2021
Volvo XC40 Recharge gets extra range in first over-the-air update
Volvo XC40
News

Volvo XC40 Recharge gets extra range in first over-the-air update

The software update brings minor improvements to the electric SUV’s driving range and charging time
26 Feb 2021
New Mercedes GLA 250 e 2021 review
Mercedes GLA 250 e - front
Mercedes GLA

New Mercedes GLA 250 e 2021 review

The new plug-in hybrid Mercedes GLA 250 e arrives with an all-electric range of 37 miles
12 Feb 2021

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen Polo facelift arrives with Golf 8 styling
Volkswagen Polo - front
Volkswagen Polo Hatchback

New 2021 Volkswagen Polo facelift arrives with Golf 8 styling

Revamped Mk6 Volkswagen Polo unveiled with new GTI version coming next year
21 Apr 2021
New all-electric Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD reimagines the classic coupe
Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD - front
Vauxhall

New all-electric Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD reimagines the classic coupe

The Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD EV reboots the iconic Manta coupe for the electric era
20 Apr 2021
Volkswagen ID.4 named World Car of the Year 2021
Volkswagen ID.4 - front static
Volkswagen ID.4 SUV

Volkswagen ID.4 named World Car of the Year 2021

Volkswagen reigns supreme with all-electric ID.4 SUV taking top World Car of the Year honours
20 Apr 2021