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Smart’s Mini-like EV concept shows off its larger vehicle ambitions

In 2019, Mercedes teamed up with Volvo automaker Geely to transform Smart into an EV-only brand with new vehicles to arrive in 2022. We’re starting to see the fruits of this collaboration with the unveiling of Smart’s “Concept #1” at the IAA Mobility 2021 motor show in Munich.

Smart's Mini-like EV concept shows off its larger vehicle ambitions


If you’re familiar with Smart’s tiny mobility vehicles, the first thing that stands out with the concept is its relatively large size. Designed by Mercedes, the four-seater has roughly the same dimensions (and kind of a similar look, to be honest) as Mini’s largest vehicle, the Countryman. It also features smooth aerodynamic styling, a huge glass roof and a gold-tinted, tech-adorned interior that looks like it was designed by Chanel (it wasn’t). 

Some other notable features include a rear scissor door that would allow for easy entry and makes for a cool look when all four doors are open. As they’re highly impractical, don’t expect to see them on a production version, though. It has a large, Telsa Model 3-like 12.8-inch touchscreen, 21-inch wheels and LED lightbars at the front and back. 

Smart's Mini-like EV concept shows off its larger vehicle ambitions


As for the EV aspect, it’s built on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) designed to be used across Geely’s nine automotive brands, including Volvo, Polestar, Smart and Lotus. It should also support fast-charging tech and over-the-air updates.

And yes, Smart and its Daimler/Geely parents are planning to turn this concept into a production vehicle. The aim is to make multiple versions, including a long-range model, while offering the “highest level of dynamic handling” for enthusiasts. It will be made in China and go on sale there next year, but Smart has plans to bring it to Europe, as well. 

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