Smart Forspeed Concept Bound for 2011 Geneva Auto Show

2011 Geneva Auto Show


  • Smart ForSpeed Picture

    Smart ForSpeed Picture

    The electric Smart Forspeed concept hints at a future design direction for the small car brand. | February 22, 2011

20 Photos

2011 Geneva Auto Show

Just the Facts:
  • The Smart Forspeed concept, an electric two-seater without a roof or side windows, is previewed ahead of its debut at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show.
  • Smart says don't worry about the elements — the cabin is waterproof.
  • The concept, which harks back to the quirky Smart Crossblade concept, is said to signal a new design direction for the brand.
  • The shape is the key takeaway here, as a sort of Smart-on-steroids look appears to be in the cards.

GENEVA — The Smart Forspeed concept, a bulky-looking electric two-seater without a roof or side windows, will make its debut at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show. The concept, which harks back to the quirky Smart Crossblade concept, hints at the design direction of the next-generation Smart Fortwo.

The shape — as opposed to the goofy waterproof details — is the key takeaway here, as future Smart Fortwo vehicles may look like dune buggies on steroids.

The Forspeed concept is powered by a lithium-ion battery and has an 84-mile range. Smart says the Forspeed accelerates from zero to 37 mph in 5.5 seconds and has a top speed of 75 mph. An unusual feature is a button in the center console that activates a "boost function" which provides an extra spurt of power for a "short time" and helps with acceleration.

One detail expected to make it into production: honeycomb-pattern holes in the front and rear bumpers that serve as air inlets and outlets. In addition to passing on a roof or side windows, Smart designers have also eliminated the exterior door handles on the concept. "An interior grip is all that is needed to open the door," Smart said in a statement.

The white exterior paint job is carried into the concept's cabin. Upscale touches include leather seats and steering wheel.

While the Smart Forspeed doesn't have a roof, it does come with a tonneau cover.

"A downpour will not lead to any serious problems," said Smart. "Water drainage channels in the vehicle floor ensure that water is channeled outside. The seat surfaces also have water drainage channels and all interior equipment has a waterproof coating for fun behind the wheel regardless of the weather."

Edmunds.com says: A beefier Smart Fortwo may be in the works. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent

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