The new smart forspeed concept is a design study in the mould of the original 2002 smart crossblade – the two-seater has no roof or side windows and it features a low wind deflector instead of a windscreen. Unlike the crossblade, the forspeed is powered by a zero-emission all electric drive and has been created to demonstrate that zero emission cars can be great fun to drive.
Actually, powered is somewhat of an exaggeration for a car which climbs from 0 to 37 mph in 5.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 75 mph. Naming smart’s new concept forspeed might seem incongruous, but anyone who’s driven a crossblade will attest to how much fun it’s likely to be – and therefore perhaps the forspeed’s limited performance is less of an issue.
Dr. Annette Winkler, Head of smart says: “The smart forspeed is a completely new take on how much fun it is to drive electric: it boasts a superb design with a powerful drive system and, needless to say, locally emission-free. And if you put the smart forspeed next to our ebike, escooter and smart fortwo electric drive you’ll see that smart has realised all kinds of variations of electric driving – demonstrating that smart is not just a practical city car, but a great idea.”
The smart forspeed boasts an innovative and futuristic design. Prof. Dr. h. c. Gorden Wagener, Head of Design says: “The cult brand smart has always taken an unconventional approach with bold design. The forspeed now carries purist sportiness to extremes and in terms of form it is also a pioneer for a new paradigm of mobility.”
A 30 kW magneto-electric motor is installed at the rear of the smart forspeed in place of the usual petrol or diesel engine, providing immediate response from stationary. Pressing a button in the centre console activates a boost function which provides an extra 5 kW of power for a short time and is said to be ideal for overtaking manoeuvres on urban highways. There’s no word from smart on exactly what you could overtake…
The smart forspeed is fitted with a lithium-ion battery that delivers 16.5 kWh of electrical energy, with a fully charged battery being sufficient for 84 miles of driving fun. It’s simple enough to charge using a conventional 220 V socket with quick charging (0 to 80 percent) taking just 45 minutes.
The forspeed is fitted with 205/35 R 18 front tyres to match its dynamic looks, whilst rear tyres measure a huge 235/30 R 18 so there’s no risk of the forspeed breaking traction, even when the full force of its 5 kW power boost is deployed..
smart’s latest concept has been designed as a test bed for several design innovations, plus the latest communication and mobility solutions including an integrated smartphone which can be used to guide the driver back to the car.