Smart #3 Crossover Moves the Brand Closer to the Mainstream


It will be built in China

Smart left the United States after the 2019 model year, but it still sells cars in numerous global markets including Europe and China. The little-car brand took a big step towards the mainstream by showing an electric, fastback-like crossover called #3 at the Shanghai auto show.

Visually, the #3 is characterized by rounded lines and a handful of styling cues shared with the #1, which is a more family-friendly electric crossover unveiled in 2022. The front end features a more aggressive-looking design with a splitter and additional vent-like trim pieces, while the back end gets a fast-sloping roof line and a light bar. Smart notes that buyers will have several vibrant exterior colors to choose from.

It’s a similar story inside: many of the #1’s features are carried over, including a tall, flowing center console and a 12.8-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. A handful of details (such as round air vents and model-specific trim) underline the model’s sportier positioning. The list of available features includes multi-color ambient lighting, a 13-speaker Beats sound system and a panoramic roof panel.

Smart had nothing to say about what’s under the sheet metal. For context, the #1 (pronounced “number one” or “hashtag one” depending on your generation) is powered by a rear-mounted electric motor that draws electricity from a 66-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It makes 272 horsepower, which is relatively impressive until you take the car’s 4,012-pound weight into account — it’s more than two times heavier than the original ForTwo released in 1998. There’s also a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Brabus-branded model with 428 horsepower on tap.

Made in China, the Smart #3 will go on sale in some European and Asian countries in early 2024. Pricing information will be released closer to its on-sale date, but it’s of little interest to American buyers because nothing suggests that the crossover will be sold on our shores.

If you’re wondering: there’s no #2 yet, and we don’t know if one is in the pipeline or if Smart will skip this number. As for the ForTwo, the tiny two-seater that made Smart a household name, it received a round of updates in 2019 and remains available exclusively as an EV overseas.

It’s a coupe-like version of the Smart #1

Smart will expand its lineup in 2023 with the Smart #3, an affordable coupe-like crossover vehicle based on Geely’s SEA platform that boasts Mercedes-Benz design and engineering.

Exterior and interior are virtually identical to the #1 model with only minor modifications such as a slightly lower roofline and sportier rear fascia; additional touches include two curved taillights and an A-shaped wide grille.

Compare it with its predecessor, the Smart #1, the #3 is larger and roomier; approximately 130mm longer, 160mm wider and 300kg lighter.

Dimensionally, the Smart #3 measures 4400mm long by 1800mm wide with a wheelbase of 2785mm and has an estimated kerb weight between 1740-1890kg – comparable to the Volkswagen ID 5.

The Smart #3 will feature a 268bhp electric motor driving its rear wheels for base models, while Brabus-badged performance versions will add another 154bhp motor on its front axle to produce 422bhp combined output.

The Smart #3 should reach 60mph in just 3.7 seconds, falling just behind its predecessor – the Smart #1 Brabus’ 3.2 seconds run-to-60mph time. All versions will come equipped with a 62kWh battery pack – though its range may be shorter.

The Smart #3 is built upon Geely’s new SEA platform, used to underpin Volvo’s baby electric SUV as well as Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron and Kia EV6 vehicles. Set for launch later in 2024 in Europe, its basic form should cost approximately PS32,000 with optional Brabus upgrades topping out at PS56,500.

It’s based on Geely’s SEA platform

Smart has long been known for producing some of the world’s smallest vehicles, but their new Smart #3 crossover could signal a shift towards mainstream appeal. Co-created by Geely and Mercedes-Benz, the subcompact crossover will go on sale later this year in China before hitting Europe early 2024.

Geely has designed its Smart #3 electric car on their Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform, which already serves as the basis for other electric cars from Geely as well as Volvo Polestar Lotus EV makers. Geely intends to expand this use across multiple vehicle segments using SEA.

SEA is a modular electric vehicle platform designed to accommodate smaller to larger vehicles and light commercial vehicles, as well as to underpin future Geely-branded products like Volvo and Lynk & Co vehicles.

Smart is anticipated to build and market their next vehicle in Ningbo, China as soon as next year. To keep costs affordable for average car buyers, Smart has decided on making this vehicle solely electric instead of including an internal combustion engine in it.

Its low entry price should enable it to tap the wider EV market at a much cheaper rate. Expected to start selling for around PS45,000, it should rival vehicles like Volkswagen ID 5 and Skoda Enyaq for sale today.

Smart #1 and #3 will be the inaugural vehicles built on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture platform (SEA), which will form the basis for its next-generation electric vehicles (EVs). SEA-C (Sustainable Experience Architecture for Commercial) and SEA-M (Sustainable Experience Architecture for Medium Vehicles), each of which are available with various configurations of power output between 152 kW to 268 kW.

It’s powered by a single electric motor

Smart has long been known for producing some of the world’s smallest cars, but now they are taking another step toward mainstream markets with an electric crossover called the Smart #3. According to leaked photos from China, this vehicle is significantly larger than its smaller predecessor – being both longer and wider according to leaked photos.

The Smart #3 is powered by a single electric motor located in its rear. Two versions will be offered: one featuring a rear-mounted 268bhp motor and another producing 422bhp.

As with its predecessors, the Smart #3 is built upon Geely’s SEA platform and will come equipped with various powertrain options. An entry-level model will feature a 62kWh (usable) battery offering 273 miles of range; there will also be an advanced Brabus variant with twin electric motors producing 422bhp for maximum power and performance.

As opposed to its predecessor, which featured an unconventional design, the Smart #3 appears to adopt more of a premium and sporty aesthetic as evidenced by pictures released thus far. It features longer wheels than before as well as an elevated roofline similar to its predecessor’s design.

The front end features a distinctive clamshell bonnet, while its rear end sports fast-sloping roof lines and light bars which first appeared on the more upright Smart #1. Inside is also very similar, sharing many design cues like its flowing dashboard design cues.

Though large in size, the Smart #3 boasts an excellent pedigree and could challenge volume EV market leaders such as Volkswagen ID and Mercedes-Benz EQC in volume sales. Smart’s recent brand revitalization marks an important step forward and it plans on increasing EV offerings over time.

It’s a four-door

The Smart #3 is an electric crossover coupe-like vehicle from Geely designed to push their popular car brand even closer into mainstream. Like its predecessors, the Smart #1 and #2, this three-wheeled model uses Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture platform powered by one single electric motor which feeds all four wheels.

The new Smart #3 will make its world debut at Shanghai Auto Show in April and go on sale in China by year’s end; European availability is scheduled for early 2024. Pricing information has yet to be confirmed but Smart is likely offering options tailored specifically towards different price and performance needs.

Judging from a teaser image, the Smart #3 seems similar to its older sibling with its coupe-like roofline and revised bumpers, along with features such as its shark-nose design at the front end. Also included are slimmed down LED headlights connected by an illuminated strip, as well as an A-shaped wide grille featuring continuous E-line detailing.

At the rear, there are curved spoilers and full-width LED taillights featuring pixelated elements. On top, a newly designed bumper features a horizontal indent near its bonnet opening for additional design flair.

As with the #1, the cabin will largely remain unchanged but with some slight sportiness enhancements such as round air vents and sportier materials and trim. Based on the flowing dashboard design first seen on the concept model, this one has been made more sporty to give it more of a coupe-like aesthetic and will feature new materials and features to give it that edge.

As with the #1, there will be several performance and battery configurations to meet individual tastes and budgets. At its core is a 268 horsepower (272 PS) electric motor driving the rear wheels for an approximate range of up to 320 kilometers (200 miles). For those seeking even more power, Brabus offers an uprated version with two motors each providing power to all four wheels simultaneously.

It’s a compact SUV

The Smart #3 electric subcompact crossover will bring the brand one step closer to mainstream popularity. Slated for world debut at Auto Shanghai 2023, its development will involve collaboration between Geely Automotive of China and Mercedes-Benz’s global design team for underpinnings as well as design elements sourced from Mercedes.

Based on sketches released prior to its unveiling, the coupe-styled Smart #3 boasts an athletic silhouette with an undulating surface. It combines features such as its “shark nose” and slim headlights with an A-shaped wide grille, scooped cooling ducts and two-tone roof for an attractive exterior appearance.

Internally, the cabin carries on the theme of its flowing dashboard by including round air-vents that add an even sportier feel. Furthermore, its steering wheel, instrument panel and center screen have all been revised to create a vehicle with greater dynamic character.

Like its predecessors, the Smart #3 is built upon Geely’s SEA modular platform and will offer both single and dual motor powertrain options with similar power outputs. Base models will feature single motor setups producing 268 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque; Brabus will offer an AWD version producing 416 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque for optimal performance.

The Smart #3 will feature class-leading smart technology configuration, with engaging UI/UX design and efficient and advanced intelligent interactions, including smart’s own Avatar voice genie assistant Cheetah combined with Mercedes-Benz’s industry-leading smart technology. Furthermore, an intuitive planet user interface will ensure quick and easy access to relevant information and features.

The Smart #3 will be introduced to European markets in September 2024, with sales set to commence some time thereafter. The car will feature pop-out door handles and come complete with luxury extras at a slightly more premium price point compared with rival models in its segment.

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