Smart’s #1 Is the EV We Need but Won’t Get
Smart reveals new EV dubbed #1, to be offered in Europe and a number of other markets.The new EV promises a range of 273 miles in the WLTP cycle, with the Smart brand having turned exclusively to electric models.The new four-door model will be built by Geely in China, with the automaker having formed a joint venture with Mercedes-Benz.Smart launched its new line of EVs this week, revealing an electric four-door crossover badged #1. The model, which was previewed by a concept at the IAA Mobility last summer, is just over an inch shorter than a Mini Countryman and certainly has a few similarities to the unrelated Mini model, right down to the contrasting roof.We have a feeling that if Mini was working on an electric Countryman, it would look a lot like this.The Hashtag One, as it will be known, will kick off Smart’s relaunched model range, just after the automaker made the turn to an all-EV lineup, and just after it also left the US market altogether. That’s right: Smart is gone, so we won’t be getting this surprisingly well proportioned model here in the states, which is a shame because it seems like it would tick a lot of boxes for EV shoppers. Just as Smart’s lineup has gone electric, it’s also turned to crossovers, leaving its ForTwo roots behind for good.What else can buyers in Europe and elsewhere look forward to in the Smart #1? For starters, a handsome interior with more than a couple of Mercedes-style design elements, including a landscape-oriented 12.8-inch central touchscreen along with fun interior colors and details, such as a metallic dash cover. The Smart #1 will be powered by a 66-kWh battery sending juice to a single motor out back, good for 268 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque—quite a bit for something this small—with the automaker quoting a range of 273 miles in the somewhat optimistic WLTP cycle. Does this sound like something the US market could use at the moment? It certainly does, we’d argue, and it will also feature some usable cargo space, for once. On the other hand, Mini itself is going electric, so we’ll see an electric Countryman here at some point as well, in addition to other electric Mini crossovers.The #1 will be produced in China by Geely on the SEA platform that we can probably expect to underpin other Smart models in the near future—models that also won’t be offered here unless something drastically changes in Mercedes and Geely’s plans. EV shoppers in Europe, meanwhile, will see the #1 later this year, with pricing slated to be announced closer to the start of sales.
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