Smart has announced details and opened a pre-order process for its new #1. Customers wanting to be the first to own the Mercedes-designed, Geely-engineered electric hatch will need to opt for the equipment-laden Launch Edition which will land in the UK mid-2023. The brand will officially open order books in December, with just 100 examples earmarked for the UK market.
Although smart has traditionally been associated with small cars – the original CityCoupe and ForTwo were famed for their remarkably compact size – the #1 marks the start of a new era for the brand. At 4.2 metres long and 1.8 metres wide, the newcomer is longer than a Volkswagen ID.3 and tips the scales at a hefty 1,820kg.
The Launch Edition closely mirrors the concept smart #1 showcar that was revealed in Munich last year, with only 1,000 being available across Europe as a whole. In terms of design, the Launch Edition comes with a white body and gold roof along with what smart describes as ‘unique signature design cues’.
These include a Halo Roof that features an intricate chequered pattern for a striking, futuristic appearance. A set of 19-inch Prism alloys mirror the same design, while exclusive interior trim colours and a two-tone leather interior complete the design package.
Launch Edition models feature matrix LED headlamps, 13-speaker Beats audio system, adaptive cruise control, fully automated parking system and wireless smartphone charging. Drivers can also connect to the car via an app, which will allow them to control a range of remote functions. Smart has also developed what it calls an ‘intelligent avatar’ with AI-based voice control that can change settings and execute commands without the driver having to take their hands off the wheel.
All launch models will come with a 66kWh battery packs that will deliver a predicted WLTP range of 273 miles. Electrifying.com estimates that drivers can expect to get around 220 of real-world range. Power comes from a 268bhp motor that drives the rear wheels and delivers a 0-62mph time of 6.7 seconds. Fast charging can be done at speeds of up to 150kW, meaning that a typical 10-80% charge will take around 30 minutes.
Customers looking to order a #1 will be able to do so online. While existing Mercedes dealers will have demonstrator cars, buyers will spec and order their cars via a new website. Buyers who register now will be contacted when order books officially open later this year.