Smart has unveiled the electric Forvision concept at the Frankfurt motor show – and the car hints at the styling and technology that will be a feature of the next generation of Fortwo city cars.
The manufacturer has worked with chemical company BASF to produce the battery-powered concept, which features several innovations aimed at reducing energy consumption.
The roof features organic solar cells that create energy to power the Forvision’s multimedia components and climate control. The concept will be fitted with all-plastic wheels that are about 3kg lighter than a conventional metal rim.
Another innovation is ‘e-textile’ seat coverings, which replace normal heating systems with thin fabrics that have heat-conductive coatings. High-performance insulating foams in the body panels keep the Forvision cool in summer and warm in winter.
While some of the technologies featured on the Forvision are still in the developmental stage, others have a realistic chance of entering production, according to Smart.
Some of the innovations could be fitted to the third-generation Fortwo, which is due for launch in 2012 in its initial coupe guise and is expected to feature a similar look to the Forvision.
The sketches reveal that the new Fortwo will retain its signature exposed tridion safety cell design for its latest guise. The upright one-box profile of the previous Smart is also retained for the new concept, as are the high-set pair of seats that provide ease of access and a raised driving position.
Smart will be one of the main beneficiaries from parent firm Daimler’s tie-up with Renault-Nissan. The Fortwo will be the first car to get a new Mercedes-Benz-developed rear-engine/rear-drive modular platform. See all the latest Smart reviews, news and video