But will it come to America?
After years of slow sales, Smart pulled out of the US and Canadian markets last year. In Europe, however, Smart still lives on after China's Geely purchased a 50 percent stake in the company from Daimler in 2019, transforming it into an EV-only brand. While Smart is best known for building tiny city cars like the Fortwo, the automaker is preparing to enter the SUV market for the first time with the help of Geely to capitalize on this lucrative segment. It's a bold step that could help Smart stay relevant.
There have already been rumors that Smart wants to build an SUV, but a Linkedin post by Daniel Lescow, vice president of global sales for Smart Automobile, provides the first official details.
Lescow claims Smart's first SUV will be a "true smart SUV" and "instantly recognizable as smart, ultra-modern, sophisticated and advanced in connectivity solutions." It will also be "super-compact on the outside and big on the inside". A previous report claimed the SUV will be roughly around the same size as the Mini Cooper Hardtop.
Underpinning the SUV will be Geely's Sustainable Experience Architecture electric platform designed to support multiple bodystyles from small cars to minibuses, which will also be used for the next-generation Fortwo and Forfour models. The first prototypes have already been tested on this platform. It won't be very capable off-road, however, because Lescow stresses Smart's first SUV will focus on urban mobility.
"We are convinced that our new SUV will quickly establish itself as a leader in the segment and spearhead a transformation in the meaning and the look of an urban, electric lifestyle," he said. "I know that people who love smart and share its values feel strongly about the quality, spirit and vibrancy of urban life. They share our beliefs and lead from the front."
Technical details remain under wraps, but Lescow promises more details will be shared in the coming weeks and months. However, reports have claimed the unnamed SUV will pack a 78-kWh lithium-ion battery with a maximum range of around 250 miles and be offered with FWD, RWD, or AWD.
Lescow confirmed the small SUV will debut in 2022 and go on sale in Europe and China. US availability hasn't been confirmed, but Smart's SUV could simply be too small to appeal to the American market, so don't get your hopes up about the company making a comeback here.