New Smart #1 electric SUV: range, specs and on-sale date

New Kia Niro EV rival offers over 270 miles’ range and will kickstart a new line-up of Smart electric cars; order books open in December

Nearly 25 years after it launched the ultra-compact ForTwo, the Smart brand is on the verge of a revival. This is the first in its all-new line-up of electric cars: the Smart #1. The compact electric SUV will rival the likes of the Vauxhall Mokka-e, Hyundai Kona Electric and new Kia Niro EV when it goes on sale in December.

Under the metal, the first Smart SUV sits on an electric-vehicle platform developed by the brand’s co-owner Geely, which in time will underpin a wide range of models from various brands in its empire, including the Lynk & Co Zero saloon and some future electric Volvos.

The Smart #1 gets a single electric motor powering the rear wheels, which produces 268bhp and 343Nm of torque. We expect the #1 will be capable of 0-62mph in around seven seconds as a result, while top speed stands at 112mph. That electric motor is fed by a 66kWh battery, which is enough for a range of up to 273 miles, according to Smart.

Plug the Smart #1 into a suitably fast rapid charger and the car can top up at 150kW, meaning filling up from 10-80% will take less than 30 minutes. Alternatively, if you use a wallbox or public charging point capable of 22kW AC charging, the same will take less than three hours. Fully replenishing the battery from a regular 7.4kW home wallbox is likely to take closer to 10 hours.

The styling of the Smart #1 is largely unchanged from the Smart Concept #1, unveiled in 2021, including the smooth, minimalistic design, a full-width rear light bar and a roof that ‘floats’ above the cabin, plus short overhangs to maximise interior space. The streamlined body, concealed doorhandles and active grille shutter also help with aerodynamics.

The cabin design is nearly identical to the concept’s as well, particularly the floating centre console, rounded-off air vents, large 12.8-inch central infotainment touchscreen and ambient lighting that wraps around the dashboard. However, the Smart #1 also gets a 9.2-inch digital driver’s display behind the wheel, a 10-inch head-up display, and a traditional five-seater configuration, rather than the Concept #1’s four-seat layout.

Other technology offered in the Smart #1 includes a suite of driver-assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function, active lane-keeping, blind-spot assistance, highway and traffic-jam assistance, automatic parking assistance and adaptive high beams. It’s also compatible with over-the-air (OTA) software updates and owners will be able to check on the status of their car on a dedicated app.

In terms of size, the Smart #1 is smaller overall than the latest Kia Niro EV and Peugeot e-2008, but its 2,750mm wheelbase should help improve interior space compared to key rivals the Vauxhall Mokka-e and Hyundai Kona Electric.

Ordinarily, there’s 273 litres of boot space available in the Smart #1, but you can push the rear seats forward by 13cm and expand that capacity up to 411 litres. There’s 15 litres’ extra space under the bonnet, ideal for storing your charging cables, plus the rear bench can be folded down in a 60:40 split if you need any more room.

The Smart #1 will be offered in three trim levels initially: a ‘Launch Edition’, limited to 1,000 examples, followed by ‘Premium’ and ‘Pro+’ specifications. Just 100 Launch Edition models will come to the UK, all of which will get the same gold roof and white body paint scheme as the original Concept #1.

The Launch Edition will also come equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, a 13-speaker Beats sound system, matrix LED headlights and wireless phone charging, plus adaptive cruise control and a self-parking system. Exact pricing information for the Smart #1 range and equipment lists for the Premium and Pro+ trims have yet to be announced. 

That said, we expect prices for the #1 to start from around £32,000; the Smart will need to be cheaper than Volvo’s upcoming small electric SUV destined to use the same platform. Order books for the Smart #1 Launch Edition will open in December, before first deliveries commence in mid-2023.

We expect the #1 will start from around £32,000 when it goes on sale later this year, as it will need to be cheaper than Volvo’s upcoming small electric SUV that’ll use the same platform. The #1 goes into production towards the end of the year, with deliveries due to commence in 2023.

Smart has previously said that the ‘#’ symbol will be the naming convention for its next generation of electric cars – much like Volkswagen’s ‘ID’ or Mercedes’ ‘EQ’ families. But not only will the #1 spearhead a new line-up of electric cars from Smart, it’ll also kickstart the brand's revival under the co-ownership of Mercedes parent Daimler and Chinese automotive group Geely.

Recommended

Renault Scenic to return as electric SUV in 2024
Renault Scenic Vision
Renault Scenic

Renault Scenic to return as electric SUV in 2024

25 May 2022
BMW i4 review
 BMW i4
BMW i4

BMW i4 review

25 May 2022
Audi Q5 hybrid review
Audi Q5 TFSI e plug-in hybrid
Audi Q5

Audi Q5 hybrid review

23 May 2022
New Nissan Sakura is a compact electric city car for Japan
Nissan Sakura
Nissan

New Nissan Sakura is a compact electric city car for Japan

23 May 2022

Most Popular

Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?
Mercedes fuel cell
Hydrogen

Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?

A guide to where you can find UK hydrogen fuel stations for filling up a hydrogen fuel-cell car
23 May 2022
Tesla Supercharger network: complete guide to Tesla charging stations
Tesla Superchargers
Tesla

Tesla Supercharger network: complete guide to Tesla charging stations

The Tesla Supercharger network is expanding fast, providing reliable rapid charging throughout the UK to Tesla and non-Tesla owners alike
23 May 2022
Top 10 best electric SUVs 2022
Top 10 best electric SUVs
Best cars

Top 10 best electric SUVs 2022

Electric SUVs combine style and practicality with low running costs, making them a very popular choice in the UK. Here are our top 10 favourites to bu…
17 May 2022