The little EV comes with a removable bright orange soft top.
If the name “Forease” seems a bit familiar and the design reminds you of another concept, there’s a logical explanation. Smart’s Geneva-bound showcar takes after the Forease introduced last October at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, but it swaps the speedster body style for a convertible by adopting a fabric roof.
With the car being so small, there’s obviously no place to stow the bright orange top when not in use, so you can simply remove it altogether and effectively turn the Forease+ concept into a speedster like its predecessor. Underneath the textile soft top is a fabric hard shell developed to boost the roof’s durability in all kinds of weather while remaining easy to manoeuvre thanks to a lightweight construction.
The styling obviously takes after the concept before it, but Smart was also inspired by the 2012 Forstars and Fourjoy concepts when designing the new Forease+. Up front, those swanky LED headlights are exposed, without a glass in front of them, while the taillights mimic those of the production model but look more high-tech as a result of a 3D effect.
Those wheels not only look good, but they’re also aerodynamic to maximise efficiency and extend range between charges. You have probably noticed by now the concept doesn’t have any side windows or a rear glass, while the windscreen is substantially smaller than the one installed on the road-going model. Speaking of which, the latest showcar from Smart is based on the EQ fortwo cabrio to further signal the company’s decision of entirely switching to electric powertrains by 2020.
The Daimler-owned company points out it will be the first automaker to completely ditch combustion engines to fully embrace EVs, but with only two models on sale, it’s easier for Smart than it is for Mercedes or any other major automaker.
We’ll get to check out the Smart Forease+ concept beginning March 5 at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
Gallery: smart forease+ Concept
smart forease+: #rooflove – the special feature on top
Stuttgart/Geneva. It is more than a roof, it is #rooflove. It is more than an addition, it is form and function. The smart forease+, which will be presented at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show (7 to 17 March), is just as scaled back and dynamic as its predecessor – and is more than suited to all weather conditions in cities.
The smart forease+ is more than a showcar, it is the embodiment of the smart brand itself: individual, dynamic, sustainable. The smart forease+ shares the uncomplicated, consistent solutions for urban mobility with its predecessor model, the smart forease, which unapologetically leaves the top down and is scaled back to the essentials. It had its world première at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.
The smart forease+ logically develops the predecessor's minimalistic idea with additional form and function. Its flat fabric roof that extends far towards the rear turns the showcar into a cosmopolitan with classic speedster attributes. Drawn down deeply and only just about reaching over the two characteristic domes on the rear, the roof demonstrates what the designers call #rooflove: a completely new look.
The roof's construction demonstrates a loving attention to detail. A light yet firm fabric hard shell covered in a textile soft top fabric combines many benefits. It is light, robust and yet suitable all year round. The roof is designed to be removable and engages in two cut-outs on the rear which provide an apt reference to the model designation with the "+ push" lettering.
"As a stylish and well-thought-out idea, the smart forease+ shows the spirit of the brand: individual, scaled back and sustainable. The showcar is also an impressive statement of coolness and urbanity typical of smart", states Katrin Adt, head of smart.
"The smart forease+ projects its technical and creative intelligence in one clear emotion: #rooflove", explains Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG. "The unconventional concept, the self-confidence and the dynamics: the smart forease+ is a statement for urbanity."
The lack of any form of side windows and the open rear in combination with the shortened windscreen ensures a pure driving experience.
Individual, dynamic, scaled back: The design idiom of the smart forease+
The designers have underscored the showcar's high emotionality and the special driving feel with many additional features. Even when stationary, the showcar demonstrates its agility with its long ducktail - the spoiler element reminiscent of a duck's tail - the expressively modelled shoulder line and the flat window section. The sun visor over the short windscreen additionally makes the sideline appear lower. Apart from its direct impact on the car's design, it is also a homage to earlier showcars such as the smart forstars (2012) and the smart fourjoy (2013).
The front lamps are also no longer behind glass, unlike the earlier sources of inspiration. The front lamps in the smart forease+ have three active LED elements that give it a pithy light signature. The multi-dimensional design of the headlamp surrounds additionally underscores the sculptural impact of the lamps.
The showcar's rear lamps provide a further visual and technical highlight. In the rhombic basic geometry familiar from the series production model, several LED light elements multiply the number of contours and thus provide for a particular feeling of depth beneath a high-quality glass cover. This gives rise to an ever-changing light graphic, depending on the viewer's perspective and position.
Meanwhile, a particular feeling of width emanates from the smart forease+ rims. The aerodynamically designed rims ensure that the smart hugs the road. With their clear electric look the wheels underscore the clear commitment to the brand's electric future.
Scaled back, sustainable, grown up: the future of smart
The design of the smart forease+ is less playful, and more scaled back and clear. The technical look formed by the body in matt soft coal for particular emphasis on the clear surfaces and the contrasting roof in rough amber are carried through to the interior. Less colour but more extensive colourfulness characterise the overall concept of the smart forease+.
One such accent is the instrument panel which is also covered in rough amber coloured nappa leather. The edging of the loudspeakers in the same colour between the front seats and the illuminated seat belt outlets provide further contrasts and visual statements.
The selection of other materials in the interior ensures a particularly refined look for the showcar. The seats are covered in a combination of black nappa leather, microfibre and high-quality material for the seating area.The steering wheel, door sills and beltlines are extensively covered with microfibre in anthracite, while the door centre panels are covered in high-quality nappa leather.
The high-gloss black highlights of the door handles and the infotainment display are further features. As a connected car, the smart forease+ also integrates the smart "ready to" services and gives its passengers a direct overview of the digital apps at all times.
The smart forease+ is based on the smart EQ fortwo cabrio series production model. By 2020 the smart brand will be using electric drives only. This means that smart will be the first automotive brand in the world to completely change over from combustion engines to electric drives. smart will successively reduce its offering of combustion engines and switch fully to the locally emission-free, battery-electric drive for the smart fortwo, smart fortwo cabrio and smart forfour. The smart forease+ underlines this step, showing that the future of smart is anything but boring.