Smart recently built its last EQ ForFour vehicle and is now producing only the EQ Fortwo microcar in coupe and cabrio body styles.
Now a 50:50 joint venture between Daimler AG and Geely, Smart has big plans for the future. The company will replace the EQ Forfour with a crossover that has already been previewed last year at the IAA show by the Concept #1.
Roughly as large as the MINI Countryman, Smart’s first-ever crossover will become the new face of the brand and the Sino-German joint venture’s first product.
The model will also be the first Smart not based on a Daimler architecture; instead, it will ride on Geely’s electric Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA). While the Chinese carmaker will handle production, Daimler will be responsible for the design.
We already have an idea what the crossover will look like thanks to the aforementioned concept vehicle and design patents filed with the EUIPO.
Gallery: Smart Electric Crossover Patent Sketches Filed With The EUIPO
Now, we get an even clearer look at Smart’s subcompact electric crossover courtesy of this rendering from Motor.es. Based on the Concept #1 and patent images, this is probably the most accurate depiction yet of the as-yet-unnamed model.
Unlike the concept vehicle, the production model will get B-pillars, front-hinged rear doors instead of suicide doors, slightly different bumpers, bulkier side mirror caps, and flush door handles (the design study had no visible handles).
The fake front grille seems slightly smaller because of the addition of two air vent-like trim pieces flanking it. The wheels look smaller than the concept’s 21-inch rims and adopt a different design.
Overall, the production vehicle’s proportions appear more crossover/hatchback-like whereas the concept looks more like an SUV.
When it unveiled the concept version, Smart said its first crossover will deliver the "highest level of dynamic handling,” long range, fast-charging tech, a next-gen infotainment system hosted on a 12.8-inch touchscreen, and over-the-air updates.
Sales are expected to start in late 2022 in China and in early 2023 in Europe.