This could turn the company's fortunes around.
Mini enthusiasts the world over have often bemoaned the fact that modern offerings are far too big to be considered true Minis, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that people don't want to buy small cars anymore. Thus, we have much bigger hatchbacks and four-doors than ever before, including things like the Mini Countryman.
Smart is another company famed for making tiny cars that has finally realized that people want more of everything, including space. Late last year, we heard that the company would be building its first SUV. Since then, we've been told when to expect it and been shown a teaser of the new offering. Now the Smart Concept #1 has been revealed at the Munich Motor Show, and it's a far cry from all other Smarts that came before.
At 168.9 inches long with a width of 75.1 inches and a height of 67 inches, the Smart crossover concept is similar in size to the Mini Countryman, but this concept has to be an electric vehicle. No other powertrains are planned, but you will get a full five seats in the production model so that you can fit the whole family inside. With that electric powertrain and no transmission tunnel, it should be quite roomy in the cabin, although those suicide doors and hidden door handles are unlikely to feature. We're also a bit skeptical about the 21-inch wheels making their way to the final design.
The Concept #1 boasts a 12.8-inch touchscreen display inside and a next-generation infotainment system, but Daimler also promises the "highest level of dynamic handling." We'd like to see those LED light bars and floating glass roof feature on the production model, but cost will certainly be a factor in how many fancy new features we see. The final version will be built in China on Geely's Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) and is expected to be offered to local and European markets from next year. As for cost and performance, no specifics have yet been revealed, but we're sure to learn more soon.