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2022 Smart #1: price, specs and release date

Phil Hall

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Phil Hall

Smart #1 white in profile

The Smart #1 has been revealed today at a launch event in Berlin.

The Smart #1 is designed to appeal to the kind of buyers who previously bought and  EQ ForTwo and EQ ForFour electric cars, but need more range and more space inside. The #1 can travel up to 273 miles between charges, while it has interior space to rival a Volkswagen Tiguan

Smart #1 white front on

2022 Smart #1 price and release date

The Smart #1 was revealed today (7 April) and is expected to go on sale later this year priced from around £35,000. Smart will justify the price hike versus rivals like the Peugeot e-2008 (£33,265) and the Kona Electric (£28,950), by loading its SUV with posh materials, the latest tech and giving it a powerful 272PS electric motor. 

Smart #1 interior

New Smart #1 styling and interior

The Smart #1 gets the quirky styling that we have come to expect of the brand, while looking nothing like the cars that have come before it. 

For a kick off, its a relatively large SUV. At 4270mm long, it's a similar size to a Volkswagen T-Roc (4234mm), while having longer wheelbase – the dimension that has the biggest bearing on interior space – than a Volkswagen Tiguan, 2750mm versus 2677mm. 

While the SUV body style is conventional, the styling is not. The Smart #1's mixture of soft shapes and curves leaves you wondering if it did in fact flop out a mould at the Hartley's jelly factory rather than a carmaker's assembly line. 

Most curious of all is the 'halo' roof, which appears to float over the car's body like an awning thanks to black pillars hidden in the glass. You also get frameless doors with handles that slide out of their housings when you open the car.

The interior is likely even more striking, particularly if you go for a a First Edition model pictured, which comes complete with white leather seats and shiny gold trims. Expect this posh feel – and the Smart's high level of customisation – to differentiate it from more keenly priced rivals. 

Infotainment is also impressive at this price point. You get a huge 12.8-inch central touchscreen that is backed up by a 9.2-inch digital instrument binnacle and a 10-inch head-up display. Voice recognition is powered by Mercedes-Benz's MBUX operating system – so you can expect it to be spookily accurate – only in the Smart you speak to a 3D avatar rather than a faceless screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also fitted as standard. 

Beyond the tech, the biggest revelation about the #1's interior is how roomy it is next to one of the firm's current models. You'll find there's space for four tall adults, you get a 411-litre boot and 15-litre 'frunk' under the bonnet. It'll feel roomy, too, thanks to the #1's flat interior floor and standard panoramic sunroof that floods the cabin with light. 

Smart #1 white boot open

2022 Smart #1 range and performance

The Smart #1 will be the first car to be built since Mercedes-Benz sold 50 per cent of the firm to Chinese company Geely, an EV specialist that also owns Volvo

As a result, the #1 will sit on Geely’s SEA platform, which allows for a battery capacity of 66kWh. That would give it a range of 273 miles and an 200kW rapid charging architecture means you’ll be able to top up the battery from 10-80 per cent in around 30 minutes.

Performance should be equally impressive. The Smart has a 272PS electric motor driving the rear wheels so it will feel surprisingly eager off the line. Smart hasn't quoted accleration times but 0-62mph in under seven seconds is likely, while its top speed is limited to 112mph.

It’ll drive through a single gear, so the Smart feels like an automatic, while regenerative brakes – that slow you when you take your foot off the accelerator – mean most of the time you’ll not even need to press the brake pedal. Having the motor in the back frees up space around the front wheels to give the Smart an exceptionally tight turning circle, while its raised suspension will help it glide over speed humps.

Okay, but every Smart car’s been great in town what about driving further afield? It’s true, motorway driving hasn’t always been a Smart strongpoint – a Smart EQ ForTwo gets pushed about like a paper bag in crosswinds – but you can expect the #1 to feel perfectly at home at a cruise.

Having its heavy battery in the floor gives it a low centre of gravity, while the same aerodynamic features that increase range will also make it free from wind noise at motorway speeds. Plus, you get autonomous driving aids that mean the car can drive itself on the motorway and A roads in free-flowing or nose-to-tail traffic, so long as you keep your hands on the steering wheel. 

If you like the sound of all that, we’ll have full details on the Smart #1 following the car’s reveal on 7 April. 

Smart Fortwo Front Side View

Find a used Smart ForTwo for sale

The Smart ForTwo’s youthful years may be far behind it, but if you’re looking for the perfect city car, and don’t need space for a family, stop your search – the ForTwo is that car. Tiny dimensions mean you can park the Smart ForTwo perpendicular to the kerb, so you’ll always find a parking space, and tiny engines mean fuel economy is brilliant. Original versions of the Smart ForTwo can be picked up for as little as £1500, but we’d hunt out an example of the current, third generation, model. You’ll snap up a 2016 model with less than 50,000 on the clock for less than £7000. 

Looking for more new car news?

Get yourself to the heycar blog where you can read the latest on the new electric Kia EV9 seven-seater SUVVolkswagen ID.Buzz people carrier and Ford Ranger pick-up.

Smart is owned 50:50 by Mercedes-Benz and Geely.

The current Smart range is starting to look dated, but both the Smart EQ ForTwo and EQ ForFour are ideal city cars that are exempt from the London Congestion Charge, highly manoeuvrable and cost buttons to run, particularly if you have somewhere at home you can charge them.  

The Smart EQ ForTwo is still being sold, albeit carrying heavy discounts, but you can expect the current model to be consigned to the history books within the next 12 months.

smart #1 - A story of Design

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