Smart Concept #1 previews 2023 electric SUV

Smart concept points to new direction for the brand under joint Daimler and Geely ownership

This is the Smart Concept #1, a “clear insight into the first production model in Smart’s new generation of all-electric vehicles,” claims the brand, which will become the #1 SUV when it reaches production in 2023.

Concept #1 is 4,290mm long and 1,698mm tall – so slightly longer than a VW Golf overall, with a roofline that sits more than 10cm higher than the current Nissan Juke’s. The wheelbase is 2,750mm, though, which is more than 10cm longer than that car’s larger SUV stablemate, the Qashqai. Smart is clearly hoping that the production model will have enough space to perform as an all-electric family SUV. As such, while the concept is a four-seater, the company says the final car will accommodate five people.

Geely is responsible for the car’s technical aspects and for developing the platform that the production car will be based on. Daimler, meanwhile, is responsible for the car’s interior and exterior styling. The firm’s Chief Design Officer, Gorden Wagener, said, “The Concept #1 is a redefinition of the Smart brand in a very cool, grown-up way. We’ve created a completely new design DNA that has the potential to establish Smart as the leading design brand.”

The Concept #1’s overall look is far removed from that of any previous Smarts – a sign of how the firm is being relaunched from the ground up. The overall profile has short front and rear overhangs – typical of an EV on a bespoke platform – while frameless doors and blacked-out A-pillars achieve a ‘floating roof’ effect. 

Other concept features include 21-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and tail-lights, and no visible door handles. Smart says the doors – including rear-hinged back doors – are concealed and only revealed by “light elements”. The car’s front grille is divided into small triangles which can be individually illuminated; this is part of a ‘light show’ that the car can perform in time with musical rhythm.

Inside, there’s a floating central console that offers at least the possibility of flat-floor storage between the front seats, and a central 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Smart says the car has a central computer that controls four main areas of the car’s systems: infotainment, driver assistance, electromobility and the electric/electronic vehicle architecture. The firm claims that 75 per cent of the car’s processors can be updated remotely via over-the-air updates.

Smart has not issued technical information but the SEA platform that is likely under the Concept #1 is a highly modular system that will enable a production model with several battery and motor configurations, with a minimum battery size of 58kWh and both rear and four-wheel-drive motor layouts.

Do you think the Smart SUV will be a success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section...

Recommended

New BMW Neue Klasse SUV to open a “new era” for the brand in 2025
BMW Neue Klasse SUV spyshots - front
News

New BMW Neue Klasse SUV to open a “new era” for the brand in 2025

The all-electric SUV will mark a change in technology and design language for BMW
1 Feb 2024
New MINI Countryman is on sale now: EV versions, advanced tech and MINI’s quirky charm
MINI Countryman at 2023 Munich Motor Show - front
News

New MINI Countryman is on sale now: EV versions, advanced tech and MINI’s quirky charm

The 2024 MINI Countryman SUV has officially landed with pricing from £29,325
15 Dec 2023
New Renault Scenic E-Tech embarrasses Tesla Model Y on price and range
Renault Scenic - Munich front
News

New Renault Scenic E-Tech embarrasses Tesla Model Y on price and range

Renault’s latest electric family car focuses on practicality and sustainability, while offering range of up to 379 miles
14 Dec 2023
Geely and NIO agreement could see battery swapping tech on Volvo, Polestar and Lotus cars
Volvo EX30 - front action
News

Geely and NIO agreement could see battery swapping tech on Volvo, Polestar and Lotus cars

The Chinese giant behind Volvo, Polestar and Lotus will join forces with NIO on battery tech
30 Nov 2023

Most Popular

New MG2 will beat Volkswagen to the baby electric car market
MG badge
News

New MG2 will beat Volkswagen to the baby electric car market

MG has confirmed it is working on an entry-level electric car to rival Citroen e-C3 and new Fiat Panda
29 Feb 2024
Car Deal of the Day: Tesla Model 3 ownership can be a reality from just £238 a month
Used Tesla Model 3 - front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: Tesla Model 3 ownership can be a reality from just £238 a month

This hugely desirable used Tesla Model 3 looks great value at this bargain price, and is our Deal of the Day for 27 February
27 Feb 2024
New Renault 5: price, specs, launch and on sale dates
Renault 5 - front
News

New Renault 5: price, specs, launch and on sale dates

The much-loved Renault 5 is back in action as a brand new electric car. Here's everything you need to know about it...
28 Feb 2024