Smart, the automotive brand best known for its pint-sized, subcompact cars, has confirmed it is developing an electric SUV that will be small on the outside, but big on the inside.
According to a LinkedIn post from the brand's Vice President of Sales, Marketing & After-Sales, Daniel Lescow, Smart's first SUV "won't just be any SUV".
"It will be exceptional – instantly recognizable as smart, ultra-modern, sophisticated and advanced in connectivity solutions," Mr Lescow said.
"Most importantly, it will possess the 'smartest' of all characteristics – super-compact on the outside and big on the inside."
Smart is now a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Chinese holding group Geely, with Mr Lescow confirming Geely's Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform will underpin the SUV and all future Smart vehicles.
The modular SEA platform will also reportedly be used as the base for further incoming vehicles from Geely's stable of brands, including the rumoured Volvo XC20 small SUV and the production version of electric car startup Lynk & Co's Zero model.
Above: Geely's SEA modular platform
"Mercedes-Benz will continue to provide the iconic design and support in the development of the next generation of smart vehicles, which is led by Geely’s excellent global engineering network," Mr Lescow said.
"This will be a true Smart SUV that embodies all we believe in – progressive design, innovation, high-tech and, of course, battery-electric driving."
The Smart joint venture was established January 2020 with the aim of co-developing a new generation of Smart-branded "premium electric vehicles", with future production to be conducted out of China.
At the time the joint venture was announced, Daimler and Geely revealed they would be investing a combined total of 5.4 billion Chinese yuan, or AUD$1.09 billion, "to transform smart into a leading player in premium-and intelligent electrified vehicles".
However, the Smart brand exited Australia in 2015 and it sounds as though this new SUV sadly won't be making it to our shores either.
"Don't worry, our new SUV won’t just be for China – we’ll be bringing it to European markets, too, where I’m certain it will be a huge success," Mr Lescow wrote in his post.
Specific details on timing, pricing and specifications for the as-yet unnamed Smart SUV will be revealed "over the coming weeks and months", Mr Lescow said.
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