The smart Concept 1 previewing at the IAA MOBILITY in Munich provides a clear insight into the first production model in smart’s new generation of all-electric vehicles. The SUV concept vehicle takes the smart brand into the high-growth small and compact car segment. The near-production smart Concept 1 transfers very compact exterior dimensions and the traditional smart design into a new vehicle concept with a significantly higher premium and high-tech claim.
This is underlined by innovative details such as LED light strips at the front and rear with a rhythmic light show, ambient lighting including the footwell and a newly developed UI/UX concept with artificial intelligence. In true smart fashion, the interior of the electric SUV is very spacious in relation to its compact exterior dimensions.
The smart brand has been a pioneer of urban mobility since 1997. It stands for a sustainable and connected urban lifestyle. Its pioneering status was underlined again in 2019 when smart became the world’s first car manufacturer to switch completely from a combustion engine to electric drive only. With the establishment of the joint venture, smart Automobile Co., Ltd. at the end of 2019, Mercedes-Benz AG and Geely Automobile Group are now turning to the next chapter in the company’s history. The two equal partners are developing smart into a leading global provider of connected, battery-electric premium vehicles for demanding customer groups. The development of the next generation of smart vehicles will take place in Geely’s global engineering network. The exterior and interior design will be created in the global Mercedes-Benz Design network.
“We’re celebrating an important milestone with the smart Concept 1, which is the forerunner of the next smart generation,” says Daniel Lescow, Vice President Global Sales, Marketing & After-Sales of smart Automobile Co, Ltd. “The near-production study is an exciting taste of what our customers can expect from the smart brand. The new smart Concept 1 is the first glimpse of our vision of a new and sustainable mobility. It’s characterised by progressive design, premium equipment and advanced technology.”
Exterior design: completely new design DNA
Painted glossy white, the smart Concept 1 is recognisable as a smart at first glance, but at the same time its progressive design is an impressive statement of the brand’s transformation. “The new sporty Concept 1 is a redefinition of the smart brand in a very cool grown-up way,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler Group. “We have created a completely new design DNA that has the potential to establish smart as the leading design brand.”
Balanced proportions, a powerful sculpture, the usual short overhangs at the front and rear and a progressive design language characterise the SUV concept vehicle. One of the central design features is the large panoramic glass roof with a striking ring of light. The seamless transition to the windscreen and to the window surfaces of the frameless doors makes the roof appear to float above the body – an impression further enhanced by the atmospheric roof lighting. In exciting contrast to this visual lightness, striking design elements in anthracite and black in the lower body area emphasise the robustness of the sport utility vehicle. This is further accentuated by the distinctive 21-inch wheels with their unique design.
A first hint of the new dimension of digitalisation of future smart vehicles is provided by the concealed door handles, which are merely indicated by light elements. The rear doors of the smart Concept 1 are hinged at the back and open in the opposite direction from the front doors. This portal door concept makes it particularly easy to get in and out of the car. Plus, the absence of a B-pillar facilitates an unobstructed view of the generously dimensioned interior when the doors are open.
The LED head- and taillights, with their striking signatures, make a significant contribution to the unique and emotional appearance of the smart Concept 1. At the same time, they are fundamental components of an attention-grabbing light display around the vehicle. In this sophisticated orchestration of the exterior and interior lighting in harmony with specially arranged sound elements, the front light strip divides into small triangles which flicker in rhythm. Starting from the illuminated radiator grille, light effects also move in time to the music along the sides of the vehicle to the rear diffuser.