New Smart electric SUV set for 2022 launch
Smart is joining the electric SUV race with a new car to rival the Peugeot e-2008 and Hyundai Kona Electric
- Small size confirmed
- Looks previewed in exclusive images
- Upmarket interior promised
Smart is planning to expand its range with a new SUV next year. Like Smart’s city cars, the SUV will be relatively small and fully electric. Our exclusive images suggest how the car might look when it’s finally unveiled.
Smart and Mercedes are both owned by Daimler but Smart’s first SUV won’t share its underpinnings with the recently revealed Mercedes EQA. Instead, Daimler has collaborated with Geely, the company that owns Volvo, Polestar and Lotus, so the Smart will sit on Geely’s electrified ‘SEA’ platform.
The car will be built in China but Smart’s Vice President of Global Sales, Daniel Lescow, has confirmed it will be sold in Europe. The styling will be handled by Mercedes and we’re told it’ll be “instantly recognisable” as a Smart. We expect a blanked-out grille and rounded LED headlights, plus Smart’s classic two-tone look.
The SEA platform can underpin anything from city cars to large saloons and even commercial vehicles, and is capable of supporting cars with a range of over 430 miles. The new Smart SUV won’t get anywhere near this figure due to packaging and price constraints, but a range of around 200 miles would make it competitive with the Peugeot e-2008, DS 3 Crossback E-Tense and Lexus UX 300e.
Interior details have yet to be released but Smart is going for an upmarket look, perhaps with plush materials and the latest smartphone connectivity. A five-star safety rating is the target, so you can expect a range of driver assistance features like auto emergency braking and lane-keeping assist.
What does it mean for car buyers?
The forthcoming electric Smart SUV should mean the company plays more than a bit part in the market. A bigger, more practical SUV body style will broaden its appeal, and the range should be at least double what you can achieve from the Smart EQ ForTwo and EQ ForFour, which are only capable of around 80 miles between charges. Prices are likely to start from roughly £30,000 after the plug-in car grant.