Smart scooter concept offers a 62-mile range; set for Paris launch next week
29 September 2010

Mercedes-Benz’s struggling Smart division will test public reaction to a new two-wheeled alternative to its signature Fortwo city car at next week’s Paris motor show with the unveiling of this futuristic-looking plug-in electric scooter.

Billed as a concept, the so-called escooter is among a number of two and four-wheeled proposals Smart managing director Marc Langenbrinck is currently considering for production as part of a recently enacted in-house programme that aims to more heavily focus the German car maker’s everyday operations on mobility solutions.

See the official pics of the new Smart escooter concept

This is seen with Smart’s increasingly expanding car-to-go scheme, which Autocar can reveal is being considered for introduction in London.

Based around a steel and aluminium frame with interchangeable plastic panels – features mirrored on the Fortwo – the escooter is powered by a 4kW electric motor mounted beneath the seat and driving the rear wheel.

The brushless unit draws energy from a 48-volt lithium ion battery mounted in the floor area with a capacity of 80Ah – sufficient, says Smart, for a range of up to 62 miles in typical city traffic.

Read more on the Mini electric scooter concepts

Charging is via a socket located underneath the hinged Smart emblem at the front. Additional energy is supplied by solar cells mounted within the panel at the front of the escooter.

Drawing on parent company Mercedes-Benz’s safety know-how, Smart has provided the escooter with energy-recouping brakes that require a squeeze of a single traditional handlebar-mounted lever to operate both the front and rear discs. They also feature an anti-lock system.

Also included is an airbag. Mounted inside the panel beneath the handlebars, it is designed to provide protection to the torso and legs in the case of a frontal impact.

Chas Hallett blog: What's going on in Mini's design studio?

Other neat touches include Blind Spot Assist. As with Mercedes’ more recent models, it uses a small rectangular lamp mounted in the rear-view mirrors to warn of objects in the blind spot – the typical cause of accidents on scooters.

The controls are taken care of by a smartphone that slots into the centre of the handlebars to provide information on speed and energy levels, as well as acting as a communication and navigation device. A pop-out seat, meanwhile, is designed to accommodate a pillion passenger.

Greg Kable

See all the latest Smart reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
4

22 September 2010

It doesn't look as adventurous as the Mini scooters, where's the different coloured interchangeable panels like the original Smart car?

23 September 2010

[quote saintly78]where's the different coloured interchangeable panels like the original Smart car?[/quote]

'Based around a steel and aluminium frame with interchangeable plastic panels – features mirrored on the Fortwo – the escooter is powered by a 4kW electric motor mounted beneath the seat and driving the rear wheel.'

23 September 2010

I quite like this Smart scooter with its modern and clean looks. As much as I wanted to like the MINI version, I found its colours schemes a bit messy and the style a bit unadventurous. Either way, I think the basic concept is something that would appeal to me. Economical, clean and silent local transport.

23 September 2010

I agree. It's intriguing. I'm curious as to what price they will sell it for, and how that compares to existing scooters.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK