Smart #1 Malaysia: Electric SUV debuts ahead of Q4 2023 launch (VIDEO) | Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — We’ve been hearing about Smart’s impending return to Malaysia for a year and a half now, but we finally got our first taste of what it will look like.

Proton New Energy Technology (Pro-Net), a subsidiary of Proton, has revealed the exterior of the Smart #1 Premium that will go on sale sometime in the fourth quarter of the year.

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The car is the first new Smart model since Mercedes-Benz sold 50 percent of the brand to Geely in 2019, and as such it has elements from both companies.

The #1 is a compact electric SUV the size of the Ora Good Cat and Mini Countryman, meaning it’s smaller than rivals like the BYD Atto 3, Mercedes-Benz EQA, Volvo XC40 EV and BMW iX1. It measures 4,270mm in length, 1,822mm in width and 1,636mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2,750mm.

While Geely handles the car’s engineering, the #1 is built on the company’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), both of which underpin the new Volvo EX30.

The design, however, is all Mercedes, so the #1 has hints of that brand’s organic Sensual Purity design language, but with more youthful styling cues.

These include full-width matrix LED headlights and LED taillights, which have an X-shaped appearance and play a welcome sequence when the car is unlocked; they will even perform a Tesla-style light show that can be activated through the infotainment system.

Other details include a clamshell bonnet, flush door handles, frameless windows and a floating roof design.

The latter is finished off with Smart logos on the rear corners; they are illuminated, as is the front grille. The Premium model rides on 19-inch alloy wheels in an aerodynamic flat-faced design.

We can’t show you the interior of the #1 yet, but we can tell you that the Mercedes-designed interior is exactly what we’ve seen in pictures released around the world. It features a unique Y-shaped dashboard and high center console, topped by a 12.8-inch center touchscreen.

The infotainment system was developed by Geely subsidiary ECARX, the same company that helped develop the Atlas system for Proton; unlike the latter, the Smart version features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

You’ll also find a slim 9.2-inch instrument display, Qi wireless charger, cooled armrest console, 13-speaker Beats sound system and a hands-free powered tailgate.

However, the Premium model’s party piece is a giant panoramic glass roof which, unlike the Volvo C40 and Jaguar I-Pace, includes a powered sunshade.

European spec interior shown. — SoyaCincau pic

Elsewhere, the seats are power adjustable at the front and have an easy entry/exit function for the driver, while the 60:40-split rear bench can be reclined and slid forward and backward.

The latter helps with the small 323-litre boot, which can be expanded to 411 liters by sliding the rear seats all the way down.

Alternatively, you can fold them completely flat to boost luggage capacity to 986 litres. The front boot measures 15 litres.

In terms of safety, the #1 is available with several driver aids, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane centering assist for Level 2 semi-autonomous driving, and it can also make automatic lane changes.

There’s also evasive steering assist and park assist on the list. As of now, it is unclear if these features will be offered in Malaysia.

No details have been announced for our market, but in Europe, the #1 Premium is powered by a rear motor that produces 200kW (268hp) and 343Nm of torque.

That’s enough to get it from zero to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 180km/h. The 66kWh ternary lithium battery provides a range of 440km on the WLTP cycle.

As for charging, the #1 can accommodate up to 150kW of DC fast charging, which will fill the battery from 10 to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes.

The car is also one of the few on the market that supports up to 22kW of AC charging, completing both benchmarks in less than three hours.

Besides the regular #1, Pro-Net also has plans to introduce a sportier version of the Brabus. This all-wheel-drive model produces 315kW (422hp) and 584Nm of torque, allowing it to complete the century sprint in just 3.9 seconds.

With this much performance, the range drops slightly to 400km. — SoyaCincau

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