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Remember Smart? It started as a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Swiss watchmaker Swatch. The company produced several small cars, most of which were available here in South Africa. Now the automaker has unveiled an all-new car, called the Smart #1.

Gorden Wagener, chief design officer Mercedes-Benz AG: “The new smart #1 stands for the re-start of the smart brand and showcases our new design DNA of Sensual Product. It is grown up, cool and embodies beauty with smart solutions. Therefore, it is new, fresh, and enchanting. Our new smart #1 has the potential to make smart a leading design brand.”

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New joint venture

The collaboration with Swatch has long since been confined to the history books. Mercedes has a new partner in the shape of Geely. The parent company of Volvo and Mercedes have co-developed the platform that will underpin models from both brands going forward.

A far cry

The Smart #1 is quite a departure from the cars the company used to produce. The appearance is quite generic, though there are a few links between it and EV models from Mercedes. Familiar design cues are the body-wide head- and taillamps. Highlights include frameless windows and retractable door handles.

Check out the upcoming all-electric Mercedes-EQ range at this link.

It is also not a diminutive prospect as Smart #1 measures 4 270 mm long, 1 822 mm wide, and 1 636 mm high. It has a rather long 2 750 mm wheelbase. Most notably it tips the scales at 1 820 kilograms. #1 rides on 19-inch alloys wrapped in 235/45 rubber.

All electric

Under that smooth body is an all-electric powertrain. A 66 kWh battery sends power to a 200 kW electric motor. A maximum of 343 N.m of torque is sent to the rear wheels. The press material says #1 has a top speed of 180 km/h but no acceleration times are mentioned. Smart claims a range of between 420-440 km.

Connected inside

Smart #1 is billed as a car for the future. It has a 12,8-inch high resolution touch screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels for the infotainment system. In addition it also has a 9,2-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 10-inch head up display (HUD). Smart #1 also features over the air (OTA) updates.




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