Smart Forspeed Concept coming to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 20, 2011

Despite its outlandish appearance, the Smart Forspeed Concept that was trademarked by the company earlier in the year has a broad appeal. It provides a fresh, youthful interpretation of what two-seater roadsters could look like. Since the proportions are basically identical to the current fortwo, it is likely that the concept could actually get a real-world incarnation.

In fact the concept will be introduced at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show this March. So far, no other sources have talked about this upcoming debut.

Sources also said that the concept will be powered by a rear-mounted electric motor that drives the rear wheels, similar to the Electric Drive (ED) variant of the car.

Mercedes Benz, smart’s parent company, doesn’t plan to take the Roadster into production, but some of the styling elements of the car will appear on the next generation fortwo.

This means that the more grown up design will be replaced with the concept’s bubbly headlights and smiling front grille. In 2001, smart introduced another roadster variant with no doors at the Geneva Motor Show.

Known as the Crossblade, the vehicle will be available for limited production next year, with only 2,000 units to be built.

Smart Forspeed is capable of accelerating from zero to 60 km/h in 5.5 seconds and boasts a 120 k/h maximum speed. Its rear is installed with a 30kW magneto-electric motor while the car concept offers an instant powerful response from a standstill. A center console button is pressed to activate a boost function that gives an additional 5kW power right away, making it suitable for overtaking on city highways.

The power of the smart forspeed comes from a lithium-ion battery that provides it with 16.5 kWh of electrical energy. It can easily be charged at any standard 220 V socket. The charging device can be found in the third brake light at the back of the smart logo and opened using a simple push/push mechanism. A fully charged battery can last up to 135 km of enjoyable driving (NEDC). It takes about 45 minutes to quickly charge up to 80%.

Forspeed developers have added another way to charge using the wind deflector. This can be done via photovoltaic cells that deliver solar power to the electrical system aboard. As an example, the smart escooter extends the life of the smartphone’s battery.

The smart forspeed Concept, clad in high-gloss white metallic paint, builds a link to the studies of both the ebike and 2-wheel escooter that were introduced at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The front and rear lamps come with a very striking design.

The lamps’ center is white while the numerous rod-shaped LEDs light up the outer rings. The indicators look like arrows in the way they seem to push outwards, resembling drops on the airplane’s cockpit window whenever it takes off.

The front and rear bumpers have several holes in a honeycomb structure that function as air inlets and produce an attractive progressive pattern, which also makes the forspeed look wider and gives it its powerful road stance. It has 205/35 R 18 tires in front to complement its dynamic look and 235/30 R 18 on the rear axle to give full grip on the road.

Press Release

Smart Forspeed Concept

smart is presenting an unconventional study at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show: the smart forspeed Concept combines contemporary urban mobility with the fun factor typical of smart. The two-seater has no roof or side windows and it features a low wind deflector instead of a windscreen in the style of a classic propeller aircraft. The result is an incomparable fresh air driving experience. The responsive electric drive that has been further developed and features a boost function also guarantees driving pleasure. A look forward at the next generation is particularly exciting as the era of electric mobility has already started at smart.

No roof, minimal windows and a responsive and zero-emission electric drive at the rear: the smart forspeed Concept combines responsibility and emotional appeal in a new and pleasurable way. Dr. Annette Winkler, Head of smart says "The smart forspeed is a completely new take on how much fun it is to drive electric: it boasts a superb design with a powerful drive system and, needless to say, locally emission-free. And if you put the smart forspeed next to our ebike, escooter and smart fortwo electric drive you'll see that smart has realised all kinds of variations of electric driving - demonstrating that smart is not just a practical city car, but a great idea." The smart forspeed boasts an extremely innovative and self-assured design. Prof. Dr. h. c. Gorden Wagener, Head of Design says "The cult brand smart has always taken an unconventional approach with bold design. The forspeed now carries purist sportiness to extremes and in terms of form it is also a pioneer for a new paradigm of mobility."

smart is a pioneer in modern electric mobility. The second generation smart fortwo electric drive has been delivered to customers since the end of 2009. It is been proving its suitability for everyday use in 18 countries including Germany, Italy, Spain, England, France, Switzerland, the USA, Canada and further countries in Asia. Due to the high demand production figures have been increased to 1500 vehicles. Thanks to this experience smart has already collected extensive customer feedback that has been integrated in the development of the smart forspeed's electric drive. With its improved performance and charge management the concept vehicle offers a look at the performance potential of future generations of the electric smart.

For example, the smart forspeed Concept accelerates from 0 to 60 km/h in just 5.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 120 km/h. A 30 kW magneto-electric motor is installed at the rear of the smart forspeed and the vehicle concept provides an immediate powerful response from stationary. Pressing a button in the centre console activates a boost function which provides an extra 5 kW of power for a short time and is ideal for overtaking manoeuvres on urban highways, for example. The smart forspeed is powered by a lithium-ion battery that delivers 16.5 kWh of electrical energy. It is simple to charge at any conventional 220 Volt socket. The charging device is located in the third brake light behind the smart logo and features a simple push/push opening mechanism. A fully charged battery is sufficient for 135 kilometres of driving fun (NEDC). Quick charging from 0 to 80 percent takes just 45 minutes.

The forspeed developers have integrated a further clever way of charging in the wind deflector: photovoltaic cells feed solar power to the on-board electrical system. As with the smart escooter this lengthens the battery life of the smartphone, for example.

With its high-gloss white metallic paintwork the smart forspeed Concept also builds a bridge to the two-wheel escooter and ebike studies that were presented at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

The front and rear lamps have a very striking design. The outer rings are illuminated by a large number of rod-shaped LEDs whilst the centre of the lamps is white. The indicators seem to push outwards like arrows - like drops on the cockpit window of an aeroplane as it takes off. In the front and rear bumpers numerous holes with a honeycomb structure serve as air inlets and create an interesting progressive pattern. At the same time this pattern gives the forspeed a particularly wide appearance and a powerful road stance. The smart forspeed is fitted with front tyres in size 205/35 R 18 to match its dynamic look. On the driven rear axle the tyres measure 235/30 R 18 for full grip.

The exterior and interior of the smart forspeed are designed as a formal unit. This is manifested in numerous details: the tridion safety cell flows from the outside behind the roll-over bars towards the front to the cockpit and forms the centre tunnel as a load-bearing part. The outer and inner door sections connect seamlessly to form a single component, just like the floor and side walls. The leather seats also have a one-shell design and are a modern interpretation of purist sportiness.

The air inlet in the wind deflector ends in the central outlet in the centre console and can provide even more fresh air for the interior when needed.

The high-gloss white of the exterior paintwork also dominates in the interior. It is accentuated by green elements such as the sporty four-point seat belts for driver and passenger or the large horizontal shelf under the cockpit that provides stowage space. All the control elements that the driver uses particularly frequently, such as the gear lever, door openers or steering wheel come in natural brown leather. By contrast, load-bearing structural components such as the tridion safety cell or the curved trims on the instrument hoods are in matt platinum silver. Functional elements such as the steering wheel buttons and the shift lever with gate are painted in silver shadow.

The open two-seater has been deliberately designed without an outer door handle - an interior grip is all that is needed to open the door. The control for the electric parking brake is particularly convenient to operate and also has a simple and functional design: the switch on the centre tunnel is reminiscent of the lever used to pull in the landing gear of aircraft.

There is a block with ten LEDs in the middle of the instrument panel. When the forspeed is started the LEDs shine through the translucent paint and show the battery charge status of the electric smart. When switched off noting is seen of the charge indicator except its outline.

The whole interior of the smart forspeed can be protected against rain and sun when necessary with a tonneau cover. It is an easy matter to stretch it over the interior and fasten it to the body with the straps. It can be divided in the middle with the help of a zip to free the driver's seat only, for example.

But even without weather protection a downpour will not lead to any serious problems. Water drainage channels in the vehicle floor ensure that water is channelled outside. The seat surfaces also have water drainage channels and all interior equipment has a waterproof coating for fun behind the wheel regardless of the weather.

The purist sportiness of the interior is also reminiscent of classic aircraft construction: the driver and co-pilot sit in front of two separate round turbine-like instrument clusters. Whilst the driver has the speedometer firmly in his field of vision, the passenger is responsible for communication and navigation: this area of the cockpit features a smartphone. It can be swivelled by up to 90 degrees in its holder and towards the driver so that the driver can also take a look at the display of the navigation system.

As in the production models from smart, the smart drive app for the iPhone® has all the important features needed whilst driving: phone calls via hands-free system, navigation with a special smart touch and a Car Finder that guides the driver back to the parked car.

Intelligent lightweight design, optimised aerodynamics and state-of-the-art LED technology

With its body made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic the smart forspeed Concept is a real lightweight. The low power-to-weight ratio is conducive to driving pleasure. Moreover, the dynamic two-seater boasts excellent aerodynamics: round, taut forms, a deliberate lack of joints (for example on the single-piece front module), smooth, handleless surfaces on the doors and rear lid and the design of many details based on aircraft construction reduce aerodynamic resistance.

State-of-the-art LED lighting technology contributes to active safety. Furthermore, it is controlled intelligently: daytime running lamps are automatically activated during the daytime. The Citylight system also senses when the forspeed driver turns night into day: photoelect

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Login or Create new account to add a comment!

Recommended

The Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 Avio had its premiere at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show together with the Lamborghini Centenario. The special edition vehicle will only be available in 250...
by - March 15, 2016
At the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, Ford introduced the new Vignale vehicles and the accompanying exclusive customer service that comes with these high end vehicles. The company introduced the new...
by - March 9, 2016
Ford offered us a glimpse of what the company’s future top-end SUVs could look like with its recently unveiled Ford Kuga concept seen at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Ford’s...
by - March 9, 2016
BMW is presenting at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show its new BMW 7 Series plug-in hybrid luxury sedans – the new BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le...
by - March 8, 2016
Arash Motor Company has debuted its upgraded AF10 and the AF8 Cassini at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. First produced in 2008, the AF10 has now been given massive updates...
by - March 8, 2016
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries