Automotive

Published on September 6th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair

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Did the smart Concept #1 Begin Life As An Apple Car?

The smart Concept #1 previews a possible electric future for the brand.

Daimler has had a tough time making business sense of the smart brand. Over the last few years, the idea has been to reimagine it with some help from Geely. That process has now given birth to the smart Concept #1, which was just shown today.

smart concept #1 no.1 in motion

The new Concept #1 is a near production-ready car made in the same youthful spirit of the brand’s image. However, it has been given a completely electric powertrain and some youthful design elements to play with. And this time around, it’s a lot larger than smart is accustomed to.

smart Concept #1 Equipment and Features

In terms of design, the smart Concept #1 features familiar proportions with short overhangs and progressive styling. This time around, they took more SUV design cues and added a few futuristic elements such as the large panoramic glass roof with its ring of light. The 21″ rims and lower body elements help to reinforce a sort of crossover look to the car.

Door handles are only hinted at by light elements. The absence of a B-pillar makes the cabin easy to get in and out of as the rear doors are hinged at the rear. LED headlights and taillights have a striking signature with triangular elements featuring heavily. Apparently, the lighting can flicker and move according to what’s playing on the speakers. Wonder how this will translate into the finished product.

smart says this concept is built on a ‘purpose-designed’ BEV architecture, but doesn’t give us a hint about its origins. What’s worth noting is that the smart Concept #1 is larger than one might initial assume. It measures 4,290mm in length, 1910mm in width and 1698mm in height with a 2750mm wheelbase. This is slightly below the EQA in terms of measurements, but about where the MINI Countryman stands.

smart concept #1 no.1 cabin

Inside, smart says they’ll be able to squeeze five in for the production model but are sticking to just four for the concept. The long wheelbase offers legroom and elbow room par with vehicles from larger segments. You’ll also find a 12.8″ touchscreen with a unique globe-themed control interface and an A.I. avatar with an accompanying smartphone app and a digital key.

smart concept #1 no.1 interior display 12.8 inch

Perhaps most eye-catching of all is the Beats by Dre sound system. It’s not only significant for being its first feature in a vehicle, but it’s also worth noting that the brand belongs to Apple.

smart concept #1 no.1 seating rear

Was this smart concept pitched as an Apple Car at one point?

This last fact about Beats by Dre made us consider if this concept started off as possible Apple car. We know Apple have been talking (and probably are still talking) to carmakers about manufacturing their first vehicle. It’s possible that the struggling smart brand was reimagined first as an Apple car. Just looking at its high-tech product philosophy, clean design and sound system really have us thinking that it may have been initially pitched as an Apple car.

BHPetrol_Euro5 Diesel_2021

The rest of the car’s details are still under wraps. There’s the typical talk of high battery range and over-the-air software updates and digital services being offered.

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Written work on dsf.my. @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.



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