smart previews next-gen future with Concept #1 SUV ahead of series production

Urban mobility automaker smart has shared its vision for a sustainable future with the public at IAA Mobility in Munich by announcing its Concept #1 SUV. The all-electric Concept #1 sits as a “forerunner” for smart’s electrified future and represents many of the design elements and techniques drivers can expect to see on future models.

Smart Automobile Co. Ltd. is a German automaker founded in the ‘90s known for its “cute” and compact cars perfect for crowded urban centers. The marque of Daimler AG (fka Daimler-Benz) serves nearly 50 automotive markets around the globe.

In 2019, Daimler AG announced a joint venture with Geely Holding Group to produce smart badged cars in China as well. That same year, smart began a drastic transition to electrification by dropping combustion engines for electric powertrains only.

Together, the equal automotive partners are working to develop smart into a leading global provider of connected, premium BEVs in Geely’s global engineering network, available to dozens of markets.

This week in Munich, smart has shared a glimpse of its next-generation of EVs with a new SUV planned for series production.

The all-electric smart EQ fortwo coupe

smart previews its Concept #1 electric SUV at IAA Mobility

In a press release from smart Automobile, the compact automaker shared details of an electric SUV introduced at the IAA Mobility expo in Munich. The Concept #1 is an all-electric SUV described as “near production” that represents the next-generation of smart EVs to come from Daimler and Geely.

According to the release, Daimler will be the handling exterior and interior design of these vehicles through Mercedes-Benz’s global design network. Meanwhile, its partner Geely will handle the overall development this next generation of smart vehicles through its global engineering network. Daniel Lescow, Vice President Global Sales, Marketing & After-Sales of smart Automobile Co, Ltd spoke about the Concept #1 SUV:

We’re celebrating an important milestone with the smart Concept #1, which is the forerunner of the next smart generation. The near-production study is an exciting taste of what our customers can expect from the smart brand. The new smart Concept #1 is the first glimpse of our vision of a new and sustainable mobility. It’s characterized by progressive design, premium equipment and advanced technology.

smart SUV

The Concept #1 features a large panoramic glass roof with a ring of light with frameless, “suicide” style doors that open in opposite directions. Another unique feature is its concealed door handles that become visible through light features.

The electric SUV is also designed without a “b-pillar,” so when the doors are open, there is an unobstructed view through the entire vehicle. To create an immersive experience, the Concept #1 SUV was designed with unique lighting and sound elements, moving harmoniously to the music throughout the interior.

Despite featuring an SUV style body (especially compared to other smart offerings), the Concept #1 is quite compact. Its wheelbase is about 108 inches, and its dimensions are as follows:

  • Length: 4,290 mm (~169 inches)
  • Width: 1,910 mm (~75 inches)
  • Height: 1,698 mm (~67 inches)

Although the exterior is quite small on paper compared to other EVs labeled as SUVs, its lack of b-pillar and panoramic glass helps the interior remain quite roomy.

While we do not yet know the range and battery capacity of this smart SUV if and when it reaches series production, the automaker has already shared plans for advanced software functions. Smart briefly teased long battery life, fast-charging capabilities, and cloud-based over-the-air (OTA) updates for vehicle software.

We do not yet know (if or) when the Concept #1 will reach series production or what smart will name this new SUV that it is calling its “forerunner.” Still, the vehicle represents an all-electric future for the smart marque that is going bigger and bolder compared its previous compacts.

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