Smart #5 concept moves beyond city car origins in pursuit of off-road ambition

Max McDee, 23 April 2024

Once synonymous with the tiniest of city cars, Smart has unveiled a new concept that showcases a very different direction. Say hello to Concept #5, an all-electric mid-size SUV that aims to shake up our preconceived notions about the company.

Smart #5 concept trades city car origins for off-road ambition

Forget dainty EVs — the Smart Concept #5 packs a hefty battery with a capacity exceeding 100 kWh. That translates to a range of over 341 miles on the WLTP cycle, putting it close to larger electric SUVs on the market. It also uses an 800-volt architecture, enabling it juice it up from 10% to 80% in 15 minutes.

While the exact powertrain configuration remains under wraps, a dual-motor all-wheel drive setup seems likely given the SUV's off-road aspirations. The concept boasts a raised ride height, beefy off-road tires, prominent skid plates, and even a cheeky winch tucked into the front bumper. Those last bits might not make it to production, but they underscore Concept #5's rugged ambitions.

Styling-wise, the brand's DNA is evident, particularly in the fascia. However, those design elements are now stretched over a tall, square body with some gentle Mercedes EQB vibes. Its ample size and adventurous styling represent a whole new direction for Smart, especially with its ownership change from Mercedes to a partnership with Geely.

Inside, screens dominate. The dashboard features a three-display setup, including a dedicated driver's display and two expansive infotainment screens, one of which serves the passenger. These OLED screens are backed by serious processing power thanks to an AMD V2000 chip, ensuring a snappy and responsive user experience. Smart also promises a sophisticated onboard AI assistant ready for natural language conversation.

Intriguingly, the manufacturer touts "zero-gravity" front seats with massage, ventilation, and a footrest - though the specifics of this futuristic design are left to our imagination. Other interior highlights include a removable center console speaker and even ambient lighting in the headrests of all four seats.

The Smart Concept #5 will be officially unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show in the coming days. While we expect the production version to tone down some of the wild concept elements, a market launch for both China and Europe is predicted for the end of 2024, so don't expect too many changes.



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