Daimler will use next month’s Detroit Auto Show to premiere its vision for an electric urban pickup in a shape of the smart for-us concept.
In a tongue-in-cheek manner the smart for-us signals that this is the right car for the young and young-at-heart with active lives who attach importance to low emissions and taking up minimum road space. The smart for-us translates the practical loading concept of a pickup to the reality of 21st century urban traffic for the first time.
With its exterior dimensions (length/width/height: 3547/1506/1701mm) it could almost go unnoticed on the loading area of a typical pickup, and it also anything but ordinary under the body. Thanks to the state-of-the-art electric drive with a55 kW magneto-electric motor the zero-emission smart for-us is agile and lively to drive.
Like car2go, the globally successful car sharing initiative from smart for more flexibility in city traffic, the smart for-us is a mobility concept. It has plenty of room for two people and space for two smart ebikes behind them. Thanks to the docking station on the cargo area of the smart for-us their batteries are always charged, and smart for-us drivers can also reach destinations that are out of bounds for cars – for example traffic-calmed zones in the city or isolated park trails.
The design: sassy and robust with extremely short overhangs
Compared with the series-produced fortwo the smart for-us makes a powerful statement and its appearance plays with the martial image of conventional mega-pickups. Nevertheless, it greets the viewer with a friendly yet assertive face. It features convex and sensuously shaped body surfaces. The large brand emblem is proudly sported on the grille, and the front has a pronounced three-dimensional design with an underride guard finishing off the lower part of the front end.
The longer wheelbase (2480 mm/plus 613 mm) and the track that has been widened by 50 mm on each side also emphasise the robust look of the study. At the same time the extremely short overhangs at the front and rear make it exceedingly compact.
The tailboard at the rear of the smart for-us is electrically driven. When it opens first of all the cargo floor including tailboard retracts by 280 mm, then the tailgate slides down in a parallel position. The cargo on the 900 mm cargo area is then extremely easy to access.
Sleek, taut surfaces in mother-of-pearl white combined with precisely designed technical functional elements in brushed aluminium – the interior is characterised by contrasts.
Like in the smart forvision, the whole cockpit boasts aerodynamic styling for interior ventilation. In place of a conventional rear-view mirror the smart for-us features a smartphone accommodated in a holder on top of the instrument panel support. The driver can see what is happening on the road behind with the help of an integrated video camera.
Electric drive – zero-local-emission driving fun
The electric drive of the smart for-us is based on the innovative drive concept of the smart fortwo electric drive, which will be launched in the spring of 2012. Thanks to the 55 kW magneto-electric motor the smart for-us is agile and lively to drive. With 130 Newton metres of torque it boasts powerful, lag-free acceleration and it can overtake other vehicles with the greatest of ease. The maximum speed exceeds 120 km/h. The lithium-ion battery has capacity of 17.6 kWh.