At next week's Geneva Motor Show, Smart will reveal a new concept model called the ForSpeed that signals a new design direction and hints at future products from Daimler's small car brand. The ForSpeed is a zero-emissions roadster model with a unique look that is powered by an electric motor.
In a similar fashion to Smart's 2001 Crossblade that was produced in a limited run of 2,000 units, the ForSpeed has no roof or side windows and it features a low wind deflector instead of a windscreen. However, unlike the Crossblade, the ForSpeed does get a pair of doors as well a fabric tonneau cover for weather protection.
While Smart has no immediate plans to produce the ForSpeed, key styling elements such as the headlamp and tail lamp designs with the outer rings illuminated by a LEDs as well as the more prominent front grille, will be carried over to future products including the next ForTwo series and the new five-door ForFour as the company plans to create a more distinct look for its cars to better compete with the Fiat 500 and the Mini.
On the inside, Smart's designers opted for a minimalistic look with separate round turbine-like instrument clusters for the driver and passenger. Whilst the driver gets a speedometer, the passenger's side features a smartphone that can be swiveled by up to 90 degrees in its holder and towards the driver so that the driver can also take a look at the display, which include a navigation system.
The open two-seater is motivated by a 40HP / 30kW electric motor installed at the rear. A button in the centre console activates a boost function which provides an extra 7HP /5 kW of power for a short time.
The electric motor is fed by a 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery that can be charged at any conventional 220 Volt socket. The charging device is located in the third brake light behind the Smart logo. According to Smart, quick charging from 0 to 80 percent takes 45 minutes, while a fully charged battery offers a driving range of 84 miles or 134 kilometers
The ForSpeed concept accelerates from 0 to 37 mph (60 km/h) in 5.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 75 mph or 120 km/h.
We'll bring you more photos and details on the ForSpeed from the Geneva Show floors next week.