A rebooted Smart used this week’s 2023 Shanghai auto show to present its second model, an electric subcompact crossover with coupe-like styling.
It’s called the #3, and it’s a companion to Smart’s #1 subcompact crossover unveiled last year.
Smart bowed out of the U.S. after 2019 but the brand is very much alive elsewhere. It now operates as the joint venture Smart Automobile, formed by Mercedes-Benz and Zhejiang Geely, and is primarily focused on China and Europe. The #3 is scheduled to start sales in those markets early next year.
Smart is short on details as the #3 is undergoing certification, but the mechanicals are likely shared with the #1. They include a shortened version of Zhejiang Geely’s SEA modular electric-vehicle platform, which offers support for fast-charging and over-the-air updates.
The #1 features a standard single electric motor at the rear axle rated at 268 hp, and a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive setup in a range-topping Brabus variant rated at 422 hp. The sole battery is a 66-kwh unit that supports charging at rates of up to 150 kw and provides a maximum range of 270 miles on the WLTP test cycle used overseas. The stricter EPA cycle would result in a lower rating. Expect similar numbers for the #3.
Inside the cabin of the #3, the design is similar to what’s found in a modern Mercedes (Smarts are penned by the Mercedes design team), though it’s not as luxurious. The central air vents, for instance, use the same turbine design used by Mercedes. Other features include a panoramic roof, a 12.8-inch infotainment screen, ambient lighting, and a 13-speaker Beats audio system.
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