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.