Smart Concept #5: Smart expands into the mid-size class

Smart will present a preview of an electric mid-size SUV at Auto China in Beijing with the Concept #5. The brand itself calls it "Smart's most spacious and versatile vehicle to date" - the series version will debut later this year.

Image: Smart

Anyone expecting a small electric two-seater from the former small car brand Smart will likely disappointed. Instead of going smaller following the compact SUV #1 and the SUV coupe #3, Smart is going even bigger: although the carmaker does not mention the exact dimensions in the press release, features such as all-wheel drive and off-road tyres or a battery with a capacity of over 100 kWh do not sound like a practical city model.

“This extraordinary vehicle concept goes beyond urban boundaries and represents a consistent and decisive evolutionary step for the premium brand and embodies a unique design philosophy”, Smart writes. “Advanced technology, outdoor-oriented features and unrivalled comfort” should make the Concept #5 “the perfect companion for all kinds of adventures and activities”. The series model will launch in the second half of the year.

In terms of drive technology, Smart only mentions a few basics for the premiere. The vehicle has 800-volt technology and a battery with a nominal capacity of “100+ kWh”. The maximum charging capacity is not mentioned, but it will likely be relatively high or the charging curve very flat: charging from 10 to 80 per cent should only take 15 minutes under optimum conditions. The target range is more than 550 kilometres, according to WLTP.

Instead of focussing on the study’s drive technology, which will probably come from Geely platforms anyway, Smart focuses on what can influence the brand itself the most at the study’s premiere: the design. “With its angular, upright silhouette and striking roof structure, the appearance of the smart #5 Concept is both a commitment to performance and a practical statement of style,” the press release states. In typical electric fashion, the overhangs at the front and rear are very short. That way, the large battery fits into a mid-size SUV, and short overhangs improve off-road characteristics such as the slope angle. Short overhangs and a long wheelbase also ensure plenty of space in the interior.

When describing the interior, however, the focus is primarily on the operating concepts. The two integrated OLED screens are powered by an AMD V2000 chip and provide access to the vehicle’s numerous functions. These functions include artificial intelligence, specifically from the generative AI specialist Cerence. The AI tool is designed to allow the driver and passengers to engage the virtual assistant in the vehicle in “entertaining conversations”. “It utilises intelligent, AI-based in-vehicle interaction technologies to provide accurate and relevant answers to almost any question imaginable,” says Smart.

“For more than a quarter of a century, smart has made a significant contribution with pioneering models and mobility solutions for urban areas and beyond,” says Dirk Adelmann, CEO of Smart Europe. “The Smart #5 concept is the most versatile car our brand has ever created. With this vehicle, we are leaving all boundaries behind and opening up a new segment for customers in Europe and worldwide.”

Source: Info by e-mail, only available in German at the time of publishing


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