Smart's new Forspeed concept 21 | 02 | 2011

    IT MAY LOOK slightly lopsided, but this is the Forspeed concept which Smart will unveil officially at next month's Geneva Motor Show. Designed to complete Smart's electric vehicle line-up — which also includes a scooter and a bicycle — the Forspeed is a zero-emissions roadster.

    Thanks to a rear-mounted 40bhp electric motor with a 7bhp overboost function, Smart claims the car has a maximum range of 84 miles and will reach a top speed of 75mph.

    In addition to its ‘smiling’ honeycombe grille, the Forspeed's squat body features an integrated solar cells in the wind deflectors to power on-board electrics, plus a high-end and seamless gloss finish.

    Inside the Forspeed, there are individual binnacles for the driver and co-pilot designed to highlight the car’s minimalist design which — rather strangely — is intended to mirror the look of a motorboat. Mercedes' head of design Steffen Kohl says the Forspeed has a “unique and electric look, but is still recognisable as a Smart”.

    Other interior touches include leather door pulls, as well as a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob. A boost switch located in the centre console frees up the extra 7bhp.

    There are no plans for the Forspeed to make it into production, though it's predicted elements of the car will be carried over into future projects

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    Jim McGill

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