Small goes big: Meet the smart #1 SUV

By dpa | 10 April 2022

BERLIN: Small and cute was yesterday: The car that once sat just two passengers and could find enough room to park on a beermat now seats five and has entered the crossover era.

The rebooted Smart is all grown up and is now set to return as an electric SUV (even if rather small) that definitely won't squeeze into as many parking spots.

The relaunch of the quirky Smart marque at a formal unveiling in Berlin in April comes after China's Geely Group and Germany's Mercedes founded a joint venture at the end of 2019 to bring back the compact brand.

The previously developed small cars Fortwo and Forfour will continue to be offered for the time being, however all eyes are now on sales of the first new model, called #1.

The new Smart is, like previous iterations, all electric, but that's about the only thing it has in common with the tiny Fortwo and Forfour.


The fun and friendly urban runabouts have morphed into a major SUV with a more formidable length of 4.27 metres. In other words: this Smart definitely won't manage the perpendicular parking that was the Smart Fortwo's trademark.

It offers space for five occupants and, thanks to the sliding rear seats, has a variable luggage compartment of 273 to 411 litres. There's also a frunk up front, which at 15 litres is large enough for the charging cable.

Built on a Chinese electric platform, the #1 drives with a rear-mounted engine of 200 kW/272 hp, according to the manufacturer.

Smart puts the top speed at 180kph and the 66 kWh battery is said to be good for a range of up to 440km. It can be charged with 22 kW at the wallbox and up to 150 kW at the DC charging station. This means that 80% battery charge can be reached in less than 30 minutes.

Not only the shape and format are new, but also the equipment: There's a completely new, fully networked infotainment system and a digital car key, meaning owners can share their Smart with friends or strangers for a set time without needing to pass on a physical key.