If you remember the smart fortwo you'll know it was a very small car. One of the quirky features of this two-door, two-seater car was that it could park in tiny on-street parking sideways with its front against the curb, without jutting out. But this wasn't the only car in the range. There was a four-door version that was actually very pleasant to drive and a sporty smart roadster that was a lot of fun – especially the Brabus-tuned version.
smart is a joint venture between Mercedes Benz and Geely (who own Volvo, Polestar and Lotus). This week we finally got to see its first electric model, the smart #1. Unlike previous models, the smart #1 is a compact SUV, complete with four doors.
The new EV looks a lot like the concept model the company showed last year, except that it doesn't have those cool suicide rear doors like a Rolls Royce. Though they are still frameless and there's a halo glass roof to give plenty of light.
Despite being an SUV, this isn't a huge car. The length and wheelbase is only a little more than a Kia Soul and considerably smaller than the likes of the Hyundai Ioniq 5. As with previous smart models, this is aimed at a younger audience than Mercedes or Geely offer otherwise. It has a modern, clean interior with Beats speakers, a 12.8-inch touchscreen display and an app with digital key compatibility.
Importantly for an electric car, it also has solid range figures. The specs promise 260-273 miles per charge and 150kW DC fast charging to go from 10-80% in under 30mins. It's rear-wheel drive and has a 200kW motor that delivers a top speed of 112mph. This isn't going to challenge a Tesla on speed but that's not the point here.
There are plenty of advanced driving assistance features here too. The smart #1 includes highway assist, evasive maneuver assist, blind-spot detection, automatic park assist and over-the-air updates.
Price and availability are still to be confirmed but the smart #1 is expected to go in sale in the UK and Europe later this year with a price starting around £35,000 (roughly $45k/AU$61k).