Smart Forstars Concept To Debut at 2012 Paris Auto Show

Smart Forstars Concept To Debut at 2012 Paris Auto Show

2012 Paris Auto Show

2012 Paris Auto Show

Just the Facts:
  • Smart will unveil its new Forstars concept this month at the Paris auto show.
  • The Forstars hints at the size and shape of the future Fortwo.
  • The Forstars is wider and longer than the current production Smart.

PARIS — Making its debut at this month's 2012 Paris Auto Show, the new Smart Forstars concept is built on a far bigger architecture than the current Smart Fortwo and boasts a silhouette that hints at the shape of Fortwo's successor, due in a year.

It's an astonishing 33.7 inches — more than 30 percent — longer than the little Fortwo at 139.8 inches long, and it's 5.9 inches wider as well.

Its wheelbase has been pushed out by more than 24 percent — a whopping 23.7 inches longer — at 97.2 inches. That leaves the Fortwo, which can famously be parked across a modern city car parking space, just 9 inches shorter in its wheelbase than the all-new A-Class Mercedes-Benz five-door hatch.

It's also wider, with its front track stretched 7.6 inches to 58.1 inches and its rear track bumped out 3.5 inches to the same width.

In fact, the only dimension that shrinks on the Smart Forstars is its height, which shrinks down 1.4 inches to 59.3 inches.

Beneath it all, the Forstars is powered by the same all-electric drivetrain lifted from the current Brabus Smart Electric, which means a 60kW magneto-electric motor. It's enough to power the Forstars to 81 mph thanks to 100 pound-feet of instant torque and a 17.6kW/hour battery.

Yet Smart isn't relying on solid engineering advancements to garner public attention. Instead, it's given the Forstars a built-in video projector so it can be parked in front of any clean wall to make an instant drive-in movie theater.

Slung beneath a faux hood intake, the Forstars movie projector can be operated by either a smartphone or via Bluetooth.

Smart has christened it the Forstars because of its convex curved glass roof that exposes the night sky, but there are other reasons why parent company Daimler christens it its first Sports Utility Coupe (SUC).

Firstly, the Forstars shares its origins with the For-us concept car Smart showed at January's Detroit Auto Show, so it also shares its glass tailgate.

The electrically operated tailgate slides down to create a 35.4-inch-long tailgate area — almost long enough to make yourself comfortable in a traditional drive-in theater.

The seats are hammock-style units, developed at Mercedes-Benz's Lake Como studio in Italy, and can be switched in and out with different colors as the owner's mood changes.

The interior's radical thinking doesn't stop there, with the rearview mirror replaced entirely by a cradle for a smartphone, which displays footage from a rearview camera.

Sitting on an enormous set of 245/35 ZR21 Michelin tires, the two-seater keeps delivering kookiness outside as well as in.

The right side taillight flips open to give access to the plug-in charging socket while, astonishingly, Smart created space for a large drink bottle holder in the left side taillight.

Edmunds says: The Forstars concept foretells of a slightly bigger production Smart to replace the current Fortwo.

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