Smart Unveils Roofless EV Concept at Paris Motor Show
Daimler's Smart brand is out to make a bold statement about the future of transportation for the upcoming generation of drivers residing in urban locations. At the Paris Motor Show, the electric-vehicle manufacturer took the time to unveil a unique EV concept – the Smart Forease.
Before diving into the car's specs and upbeat features, it's important to highlight that the EV, like the Smart ForTwo, is roofless, with a permanent open-top configuration. Bearing this in mind, the vehicle is suitable for carefree individuals looking for a car that matches their outgoing lifestyle.
Drawing inspiration from the Smart Crossblade, the concept EV is packed with digital components and sleek features. Inside the unit, a large panel at the center of the vehicle provides controls for basic car functions and entertainment. Two, circular monitors above the master panel offers additional information, such as time and navigational data.
According to the company, the EV supports connected features via a mobile app. Leveraging this feature, individuals could project content on the main panel and monitor the car's status in real-time. The steering wheel has also been upgraded with a cut-top configuration (just like the roof, depending on the orientation). Furthermore, speakers are discreetly hidden at the rear section of the seats.
"The Smart Forease is proof that Smart thinks unconventionally. Its design is reduced and pure," highlighted Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG.
"The [EV] is a statement of urbanity and individual style. It has the coolness of the metropolis and demonstrates a truly free spirit."
Going back to its roofless feature, the Smart Forease does not have an air conditioner. Individuals interested in beating the heat during the summer would have to rely on its open design for natural cooling. In place of traditional HVAC vents, the automaker has installed small displays. Escaping blisteringly cold weather during the winter seems to be impossible with the concept EV.
For individuals wanting the best of both worlds, the Smart ForTwo (Cabrio) features a soft-top roof that can retract automatically within 12 seconds for open-top driving. The weatherproof roof is extremely durable, capable of withstanding car washes without tearing.
Designed for Urban Mobility
The Smart Forease is ultimately designed for people living in busy cities. The compact nature of the EV allows owners to park in tight spaces, commercial lots and side roads. For now, it's unclear if the automaker plans to offer retractable soft-top options for the EV (it is still a concept after all).
"The Forease embodies a refreshingly simple form of driving fun in the city, standing for urban electric mobility without compromise," said Katrin Adt, Head of Smart Products at Daimler AG.
"The result is a sustainable driving experience built on freedom."
With the Smart brand slowly transitioning to become an EV-only company by 2020 (in Europe), the Forease marks the automotive establishment's commitment to the nascent sector. In the US, Canada and Norway, the business has already let go of its internal-combustion engine offerings, in favor of fully electrified units.
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