Say hello to the largest car ever produced by Smart – the new #3, which is an all-electric SUV only slightly smaller in footprint than the Volkswagen ID.4.
It’s some way from the brand’s original City Coupe (renamed ForTwo for the facelift and subsequent generations), sizing up at over 4.4 metres in length and serving as a larger sibling to the #1 SUV. Both cars are the first from the new Daimler-Geely joint venture era, designed by Mercedes-Benz global design team while being underpinned by electric drivetrain and chassis technology developed by Geely.
Revealed at this year’s Shanghai Motor Show, the #3 will eventually make it to Europe, with a reveal of the version destined for our market planned for the Munich Motor Show in September. Smart hasn’t officially detailed the technical underpinnings of the car, but it’s all but certain to use the new SEA platform developed by Geely for use across the new Smart offerings as well as Volvo and Polestar’s next-generation wares.
Homologation for Europe is due to be completed in August this year, so we’ll find out the facts and figures a little closer to then. But Smart aims to have the #3 on sale here early in 2024.
The story for now is very much the #3’s design. Smart points to its ‘seamless, smooth lines and athletic curves’, while the car's front end takes in the new “shark nose” ethos ushered in on the #1. A continuous bend stretches from the A-pillar to the C-pillar, not unlike the design employed by Mercedes with its latest EQ models, though is that really surprising?
Inside, the cabin is home to a 12.8-inch central touchscreen system and multi-coloured ambient LED lighting, while the wheelbase length combined with the packaging of the electric drivetrain and battery means that the #3 is almost certainly the most spacious Smart ever made, which is saying something.
Much is made about the colours you’ll be able to choose for the #3. New ‘Photon Orange Metallic’ and Electric Blue Matte shades will be offered alongside a ‘Vibrant Brown’ interior. A misnomer if we ever heard one…