Following the unveiling of a concept at last year’s IAA show in Munich, Smart is introducing the production version of its first-ever crossover. As with most of the company’s future models, the #1 comes exclusively with an electric powertrain, thus leaving combustion engines in the past. Smart is no longer a wholly-owned Mercedes subsidiary since the three-pointed star has created a 50:50 joint venture with Geely.
Designed by Mercedes but manufactured in China by Geely on its bespoke electric platform, the Smart #1 retains the cutesy look of the concept. At 4270 mm long, 1822 mm wide, and 1636 mm tall, the crossover is by far the company’s largest vehicle ever. It has a generous wheelbase of 2750 mm and weighs a hefty 1,820 kg (4,012 lbs). Consequently, it’s also the heaviest Smart to go into production.
Much like combustion-engined Smart cars of the past, the new #1 is also rear-wheel drive. Its electric motor mounted at the back is good for a substantial 272 horsepower (200 kilowatts) and a near-instant torque of 343 Nm (253 lb-ft). The compact crossover riding on massive 19-inch wheels wrapped around 235/45 R19 tires can reach 112 mph (180 km/h), which is more than enough for this type of EV.
Courtesy of a decent-sized 66-kWh battery pack, the future rival for the BMW iX1 and MINI Countryman EV can cover up to 273 miles (440 kilometers) based on the WLTP cycle. Once it’s out of juice, it takes less than half an hour to charge it from 10 to 80% thanks to support for DC charging at up to 150 kW. When using AC charging at 22 kW, replenishing the battery will require around three hours.
Using those nifty pop-out door handles allows you to gain access inside the impressively minimalist cabin. The Smart #1 does away with most physical buttons since nearly all functions can be accessed through the center screen. The 12.8-inch touchscreen with a full HD resolution takes center stage on the dashboard and is complemented by a rectangular digital driver’s display.
Being a bespoke EV, it comes with a small front trunk that can swallow 15 liters. At the back, the cargo area has a volume varying from 323 to 411 liters depending on the position of the rear bench since it slides forward and aft by 13 centimeters. Also worth mentioning is the panoramic glass roof to give the Smart #1’s cabin an airy vibe.
Sales in Europe are programmed to kick off this September, with the first deliveries to customers planned for January 2023. Pricing details have not been disclosed, but the Smart #1 is expected to start from €30,000.