It’s not really news that Smart is shifting toward crossovers and SUVs. In 2019, Daimler formed a joint venture with Geely to develop the Smart brand, which included larger models. Smart built its brand with compact runabouts, but that’s no longer paying the bills as consumers shift toward crossovers and SUVs, and Smart is following suit. What is news is the latest teaser previewing the all-electric SUV concept Smart will unveil later this year.
The teaser, which comes from Mercedes design boss Gorden Wagener, provides a top-down view of the concept, and one of the most noticeable things about the crossover is its size. Rumours have suggested it’ll be large enough to compete against the Mini Countryman, which is no behemoth, though it’s far larger than the typical Smart model we’re all familiar with. However, consumers can’t seem to buy enough crossovers and SUVs to satisfy their domestic needs.
There’s no indication what kind of powertrain the concept will have, though we do know the model will ride on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), which the company plans to use to underpin a future Volvo model, too. It’s an 800-volt architecture that’s capable of supporting up to three electric motors. The platform could offer up to 430 miles of range on the NEDC test cycle, though the new Mini may not offer those goodies.
We’ll get our first full look at the unnamed Smart concept later this year, which will be our first look at the brand’s new direction. The brand plans to unveil it in September at the Munich Motor Show. The concept is supposed to turn into a production model that’s rumoured to arrive sometime in 2022 for the European and Chinese markets, so we’ll be waiting to see that materialise. So far, it looks like the new Smart brand will leave its compact beginnings in the past.