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The restarted smart starts the first salvo

Smart unveiled on Thursday the first model developed by Mercedes-Benz and Giri under the joint ownership of the brand.

Remember, the two car makers 50:50 joint venture Smart Automobile in 2019Is based in China and is responsible for overseeing the development and production of future electric smarts. This starts with a subcompact crossover properly labeled # 1.

The release took place in Berlin, the capital of Germany. The concept of previewing # 1 was also announced in Germany during the first Munich Auto Show last year.

While Smart has traditionally been run exclusively in the light vehicle segment, # 1 shows that the brand will expand into a larger number of subcompact segments. The crossover is about 168 inches long, about 1.5 inches shorter than its main target, the Mini Countryman. Trunk storage is up to 14.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat, and the gross vehicle weight is just over 4,000 pounds.

What supports # 1 is Geely’s SEA Modular Electric Vehicle Platform, Provides support for fast charging and wireless updates. The # 1 confirmed specification includes a single electric motor on a rear axle rated at 268hp, sufficient for a top speed of 112 mph. The 66kWh battery offers a range close to 250 miles, and when charged at up to 150kWh, it can be charged 10-80% within 30 minutes.

The # 1 exterior design is clearly associated with the latest Mercedes EVs. This is not surprising given that Mercedes design chief Gorden Wagner leads the smart design team. A cool feature is the drag coefficient of 0.29Cd, which is impressive for crossovers. Design details such as hidden door handles and active grille shutters help achieve this low number.

2023 Smart # 1

2023 Smart # 1

2023 Smart # 1

2023 Smart # 1

2023 Smart # 1

Inside, in addition to a seat for 5 people, there are premium features such as a 9.2-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.8-inch infotainment screen, and a 10-inch heads-up display. The app also allows easy sharing of cars via the digital key feature.

# 1 is Next-generation mini lineupAlthough the Mini will continue to offer internal combustion engines along with electric drivetrains for several years. You can imagine a for-two-style hatch, and perhaps a sedan, that will form part of the smart future lineup.

Given Smart’s withdrawal from the United States in 2020, it’s unlikely that the brand will be back here soon. In other words, forget to see the new Smarts on local roads. The restarted smart starts the first salvo

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