The Smart brand, owned by Mercedes-Benz and China’s Geely, is preparing to enter a new era. The result of a radical revision of the company’s image and business model will be a line of electric vehicles, the firstborn of which will be a “battery-powered” all-terrain vehicle called #1. It has already passed a number of tests, including 40-degree frost, and is due to debut in 2022. Future models will receive similar names with an ordinal number following the grid symbol.
As explained in Smart, a short index after the relaunch of the brand will make the names recognizable, and the # sign itself is used to designate hashtags in social networks and therefore is ideal for a brand that has always aspired to be a trendsetter.
The firstborn of the new line, #1, recently completed a series of tests. The crossover was tested in a wind tunnel at the Chinese Research Institute of Automotive Technology in Chongqing, which Smart calls one of the best in the world. The drag coefficient was an impressive 0.29 — that is, at the level of the electric Mercedes-Benz EQA.
This indicator was achieved, among other things, thanks to the door handles “recessed” into the body, as well as an active aerodynamic element in the false grille, which is put even in the cheapest versions # 1.
In the north of China, the novelty was also tested cold, having conducted tests at an air temperature of about -40 degrees Celsius. It is noted that Smart “excellently” coped. How the frost affected its power reserve is not reported, however, for residents of northern latitudes, engineers have provided a remote battery heating function just in case, which can be activated before the trip via a mobile application. Retractable handles have received a kind of “ice-breaking function” — they will not get stuck in the doors, even if the car is completely covered with a layer of ice.
Details about the technical equipment in the company have not yet been announced. At the end of January, the prototype of an electric car was photographed on the road, and it turned out to be similar in size to Mini models: it reaches 4.29 meters in length, almost two meters in width and 1.7 meters in height, and the distance between the axles is 2.75 meters.
Production of the crossover will be established in China.