This is the new Smart #1, the long awaited electric SUV. It is a good looking new car, modern and sleek, with some original Smart DNA visible in the design. The Smart brand is now a jointly owned by Geely and Daimler.
The #1 has a small frunk with a capacity of 15 liters, just big enough to hold a charging cable. Note the Smart logo on the underside of the cover.
The Smart #1 is manufactured in a new factory in Xi’an, China. The #1 stands on Geely’s SEA (Sustainable Experience Architecture) electric-vehicle platform. This platform underpins the Zeekr 001 and the Lotus Eletre, and will underpin many other upcoming cars of Geely’s many brands, including Geely itself, Polestar, Volvo, and Lynk & Co.
The #1 has cool pop-out door handles with the Smart name on top.
Aero wheels for a kilometer extra range.
The green colored car on the photos is the China-spec version of the Smart #1, recognizable by the Chinese-name badge of Smart on the right side (精灵, Jingling, literally ‘Elf’, as in the small funny fellows).
The specs are impressive. Let’s start with size. It is a properly large vehicle, especially for a Smart: 4270×1822×1636mm, with a 2750 millimeter wheelbase. Curb weigh is 1820 kilo. The #1 has rear-wheel drive. Power comes from a rear mounted electric motor with an output of 272 hp and 343 Nm. The motor is mated to a 66kWh ternary lithium battery operating at 400 volt for a 420-440km WLTP range. Top speed is 180 kilometers per hour. On a standard charger, charging from 10% to 80% battery takes 3.5 hours. On a fast charger, max 150kW DC, this takes only 30 minutes.
The Smart logo on the C-pillar.
The interior is trendy and modern, but I am a little surprised with the main screen solution. It looks a little glued-on, and doesn’t really fit into the rest of the interior. Anyway; the big screen measures 12.8 inch, with a 9.2-inch instrument panel and a HUD head-up display.
The steering wheel is sporty, bound in leather with a flat bottom. It has the Smart logo in the middle and the Smart lettering at the bottom. The driver won’t forget what he is driving in this one! The audio system is sourced from Beats, the hip brand of the moment.
The instrument panel shows only the most important information, like battery level, speed, temperature, and the music you are listening to, lest you forgot.
The more I look at the screen the weirder is seems. Mercedes-Benz is normally very good in integrating screens into their vehicles. And they designed the #1. Odd. The drive selector is located on the stalk behind the steering wheel, keeping the center tunnel clean.
The Smart #1 is a five-seat SUV with a spacious interior and a large panoramic sunroof. The center tunnel holds various storage cabins and cup holders.
The #1 is, as always, aimed at a young audience. In China, Smart is planning to launch all sorts of versions and special variants, aimed at specific target audiences. Next up for Smart are a smaller SUV, a larger one, a sedan, and possibly a compact MPV. Whether all of these other Smarts will be sold outside of China as well is yet unsure. The Smart #1 will hit the Chinese car market in late Q3. More on the tech and infotainment systems of the #1 in a follow-up story.