Smart Concept #1 : Redefinition
“The new sporty Concept #1 is a redefinition of the smart brand in a very cool grown-up way, We have created a completely new design DNA that has the potential to establish smart as the leading design brand.”Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer, Daimler Group
Smart is about to enter a new age. The clever Concept #1, gives a clear glimpse into the first production model in smart’s new all-electric vehicle generation. The smart SUV concept vehicle introduces the brand to the fast-growing small and compact automobile segment. The near-production smart Concept #1 transforms a new vehicle concept with a substantially greater luxury and high-tech claim by combining very compact exterior dimensions and classic smart design. Innovative touches such as LED light strips with a rhythmic light display at the front and back, ambient lighting including the footwell, and a newly developed UI/UX concept with artificial intelligence help to emphasize this. The interior of the electric SUV is surprisingly large in comparison to its modest outward dimensions, in true clever manner.
Since 1997, the smart brand has been a leader in urban transportation. It represents an urban lifestyle that is both sustainable and connected. Smart’s pioneering status was reinforced in 2019 when it became the world’s first automobile manufacturer to totally abandon combustion engines in favour of electric driving. Mercedes-Benz AG and Geely Automobile Group are now turning to the next chapter in the company’s history, with the establishment of the joint venture smart Automobile Co., Ltd. by the end of 2019. Smart is being built into a major global provider of connected, battery-electric luxury vehicles for demanding consumer groups by the two equal partners. Geely’s global engineering network will be responsible for the development of the next generation of smart vehicles. The external and interior design will be developed by the Mercedes-Benz Design network around the world.
The Smart Concept #1 is painted glossy white and recognized as a smart at first glance, yet its progressive design is an astonishing statement of the brand’s change.
The SUV concept car has balanced proportions, a powerful sculpting, the traditional low front and back overhangs, and a progressive design language. The wide panoramic glass roof with a stunning ring of light is one of the main design highlights. The roof appears to hover above the body because to the seamless transition from the windscreen to the window surfaces of the frameless doors, which is emphasized by the atmospheric roof lighting. In a dramatic contrast to the vehicle’s perceived lightness, strong design elements in anthracite and black in the lower body region underscore the SUV’s toughness. The striking 21-inch wheels, with their one-of-a-kind design, add to this.
The camouflaged door handles, which are only indicated by light elements, provide a first clue of the new level of digitalization of future smart automobiles. The clever Concept #1’s rear doors are hinged at the back and open in the opposite way as the front doors. This portal door concept makes getting in and out of the car a breeze. Furthermore, the absence of a B-pillar allows for an uninterrupted view of the spacious interior when the doors are open.
The LED headlights and taillights, with their distinct signatures, contribute significantly to the smart Concept #1’s distinct and expressive appearance. At the same time, they are essential elements of an eye-catching light display that surrounds the vehicle. The front light strip divides into little triangles that flicker in rhythm in this clever orchestration of outside and interior lights in combination with specifically designed sound elements. Light effects move in sync with the music around the sides of the vehicle to the rear diffuser, starting with the illuminated radiator grille.
Despite its small exterior proportions, the clever Concept #1’s interior is exceptionally large, thanks to the vehicle’s wheels positioned far out to the corners. The four-seater study, like the upcoming five-seater production model, has a purpose-designed BEV architecture that provides legroom and elbow room comparable to vehicles in upper categories, as well as ample of storage space. The light coming in through the panoramic glass ceiling adds to the subjective sense of space and adds to the lounge-like atmosphere of the interior. The new smart model generation’s premium appeal is highlighted by sophisticated touches such as the ambient light incorporated into the car floor and the highly attractive air vents.
The center console, which floats between the front seats and blends smoothly with the innovative dashboard design, is one of the interior design highlights of the smart Concept #1. The free-standing 3D touchscreen with a 12.8-inch display serves as the key control element.
A strong central computer manages the four primary sectors of the new smart model generation: infotainment, driver assistance systems, electromobility-specific functions, and the electric/electronic vehicle architecture (E/E architecture). More than 75% of all ECUs can be updated remotely on a regular basis thanks to dynamic OTA software updates.
As a result, there is a wide range of functions to improve comfort and safety. For example, the electric SUV will be equipped with current technologies such as a parking assistance, evasive steering helper, highway assistant, and emergency lane assistant. The next smart generation will be one of the leading all-electric vehicles in its sector in terms of assistance systems.
The control interface’s innovative design, which is displayed for the first time in smart Concept #1, is extremely user-friendly. On the high-resolution 12.8-inch touchscreen, the prominent menu item is a three-dimensional globe. The user is guided through the menus and functions by an AI avatar. This virtual companion constantly learns from the user’s behavior and may thus adapt to their specific tastes thanks to artificial intelligence.
The newly designed smartphone smart app will further enhance the high level of customer comfort. It not only serves as a digital key, but it also allows for the smooth integration of a variety of connected services and functions into the user’s digital environment. The excellent sound system on board is powered by Beats, a leading audio brand, and ensures ideal acoustics.