Everyone’s favourite small car manufacturer is back and they’re going electric! Well, technically Smart has been running an all-electric operation for a few years now. But, they haven’t actually released any new EVs since 2017. The Smart #1 (yes, the hashtag is part of the official name) is set to rival the Peugeot e-208, Mini EV and Volkswagen ID.3 in terms of style, range and price.
Interestingly, Smart is actually jointly owned by Mercedes and Chinese brand Geely. Geely is one of the largest auto manufacturers in China and also part-own Volvo, Polestar and Lotus. The Smart #1 is apparently being used as the brand’s stepping stone into a new business and design model.
From the looks of the Smart #1, it appears the manufacturer is taking internal and external design cues from Mercedes’ EQ range. Whereas, the internal technology and workings of the EV will be taken from Geely’s side of the business.
Smart has previously said that the # symbol will be the naming convention for its newest generation of electric cars. Much like Mercedes have settled on their EQ range and Volkswagen’s ID. family.
What do we know about the Smart #1?
After being announced earlier this year, the Smart #1 will be the brands first ever electric SUV and the largest vehicle Smart have ever produced. It’s set to be released in the UK from December 2022 with a starting price of around £35,000, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
At the moment, Smart are promoting three different models of the #1 that have differing technology levels. But, it does seem that all of them will have the same 66kWh battery and a range of around 273 miles. Impressive. Of course, this may change as Smart decides to upgrade the range of models.
In terms of charging, Smart is boasting a super quick 29 minute charge when using a 150kWh charge point. Equally as impressive is the supposed 0-60mph time of six seconds. That’s a lot quicker than what the Cupra Born, Mini EV and Peugeot e-208 can offer.
Design, technology and innovation
Fans of Smart’s traditional quirky styling will be disappointed to see that the #1 has taken a much more modern and conventional stance. The smooth and minimalist exterior is met with a ton of Mercedes-style design cues, including a very familiar EQ-looking rear light bar.
For a car in it’s supposed price bracket, the Smart #1 is certainly a lovely looking EV. The streamlined body and flush door handles really add to the high-end look of the vehicle. In terms of size, the #1 is smaller than the latest Kia e-Niro but it feels huge on the inside. In test drives, we’ve seen there’s enough space for 6-foot adults in the front and back. Ordinarily there’s 273 litres of boot space which isn’t huge. But, you do have the option to push the rear seats forwards which ups that capacity to 441 litres.
Inside, the Smart #1 is no comparison to similarly priced electric cars on the market. It is insane. The premium cabin is fitted with a 12.8-inch touchscreen – which comes as standard on all models of the #1. Plus, there’s a thinner digital drivers display behind the wheel which gives you all the essentials and heads up display.
Other technology includes a range of drive assistance systems, including active lane-keeping, blind-spot assistance and automatic parking assistance. Smart even boasts about their partnership with Beats throughout the vehicle, which is fitted with a minimum of 13 speakers depending on the spec.
A standout electric SUV?
At release the Smart #1 will be offered in three trim levels starting with a ‘Launch Edition’ which will be limited to only 100 models. This will then be followed by a ‘Premium’ and ‘Pro+’ specifications.
Overall, with its modern design, roomy cabin and innovative technology, not to mention brilliant performance specs, the #1 has great potential to stand out from the rest of the compact, family-friendly electric SUV crowd.
Would you like to see the Smart #1 added to our all-electric fleet?
* All information correct as of 11/07/2022.