City car maker Smart has announced that its new electric car will be called the Smart #1.
Smart, which currently sells the ForTwo and ForFour electric hatchbacks, says the new name will set a template for its next generation of vehicles, which aim to establish it as a “premium all-electric automotive technology brand”.
The Smart #1 is a compact SUV built on a bespoke EV platform from part-owner Geely and developed by Geely and Mercedes-Benz. Although Smart is famous for cars so small you can park them nose-in to the kerb, the #1 is closer in size to a regular B-segment SUV like the Vauxhall Mokka or Ford Puma.
The car has been styled by Mercedes’ design team to be as aerodynamic as possible. Soft curves and recessed door handles along with an active shutter grille are designed to optimise the range from the powertrain.
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The car has been pictured testing in cold weather conditions and Smart says that the battery “showed excellent resistance to extreme cold” even down to -40 degrees - a key consideration given the impact cold weather has on EVs’ range. As well as designing the battery temperature control to handle cold weather, the #1 also includes anti-icing systems to stop the flush-fitting door handles from freezing up.
Daniel Lescow, vice president of global sales for Smart, said: “As the first product set to launch following the brand’s renewal, the Smart #1 perfectly combines electric-drive technology and premium quality. I am convinced that the Smart #1 will enthuse future customers in both China and Europe, setting new trends of urban mobility and co-creating powerful brand experiences wherever it will make an appearance.”
Technical details of the #1, including its battery and drivetrain, are yet to be announced but the car will use running gear from Geely and the brand says it will deliver the “highest level of dynamic handling and passive safety”.