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Smart #1 – That's How the Electric SUV From the French (?) Brand Will Be Called

Although smart was born in France, it is no longer there. Its factory in Hambach was sold to INEOS, which makes some now classify it as a German brand. Without its factory in Europe and with a Chinese stockholder, the company will now make its cars in China. The first one to emerge after the changes has a suitable name: #1.
Smart #1 12 photos
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Although it may fit the compact electric crossover well, it is not properly a creative name. The concept that preceded it was called Concept #1. According to Smart, it chose this name to connect with younger buyers. Apart from meaning “number,” the hashtag is also used “to indicate the hottest topics in social media.” Really. We’d prefer to believe that smart chose this name to reinforce that it is a no-frills, down-to-business brand, but that’s not the case.

The company made sure that people know this car was designed by Mercedes-Benz but developed in China, where it will be built. The electric crossover passed severe pre-market tests in the far north of the Asian country, at -40ºC (-40ºF) temperatures. Smart is proud of offering concealed door handles that help the car be more aerodynamic without preventing people from operating them.

These door handles come with ice-breaking functions, and smart said they work well “even when the car is covered with a thin layer of ice.” That’s not something some carmakers can brag about, especially after skipping more severe cold testing.

Regarding aerodynamics, the smart #1 was tested at the China Automotive Engineering Research Institute’s wind tunnels in Chongqing. According to Smart, the electric crossover got a drag coefficient of 0.29. That’s similar to what some sedans presented in the early 1990s, which is not bad considering the crossover shape. Sedans have the most aerodynamically-favorable body shape. All smart #1 units will have AGS (Active Grille Shutter).

According to smart, the plan is to reveal the production version of the #1 “later this year.” The company did not clarify if that means the car will be sold in 2022 or just presented so customers can reserve it for 2023. Expect all future smart cars to carry the hashtag in front of their numbers: the company promised that will give it “a recognizable family name for its new generation of all-electric vehicles.”

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