Smart's electric roadster launched at the Geneva motor show
1 March 2011

Smart has launched its Forspeed concept at the Geneva motor show.

The Forspeed is a zero-emissions roadster. It’s designed to complete Smart’s electric vehicle line-up, which also includes a scooter and a bicycle.

The company claims the Forspeed will reach a top speed of 75mph, thanks to a rear-mounted 40bhp electric motor with a 7bhp overboost function. It’s said to have a maximum range of 84 miles.

See the official pics of the Smart Forspeed, plus a pic from the show

The car’s squat body features a high-end and seamless gloss finish, integrated solar cells in the wind deflectors to power on-board electrics, and a ‘smiling’ honeycombe grille. Mercedes's head of design Steffen Kohl says the Forspeed has a “unique and electric look, but is still recognisable as a Smart”.

On the inside, the car’s minimalist design mirrors the look of a motorboat, with individual binnacles for the driver and co-pilot. In front of the latter sits a Smartphone unit, which can be tilted 90 degrees to face the driver.

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Other interior touches include leather door pulls, as well as a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob. A boost switch located in the centre console frees up the extra 7bhp.

Smart boss Dr. Annette Winkler says the Forspeed is not planned as a limited series. “We have to be profitable with Smart so it won’t make production,” she said. But she added, “Elements of the car will be carried over into future projects.”

Alex Kersten

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