Smart has revealed a new electric-powered, single track vehicle called the escooter at the Paris motor show.
Sources at parent company Mercedes-Benz describe the plug-in concept as the first step in a newly established diversification plan for its stuggling city car division.
The new two-wheeler is being developed as part of a new broad-based mobility strategy aimed at taking Smart into market segments beyond that occupied by its newly facelifted Fortwo and an upcoming rear-engined,-rear-wheel-drive successor to its short-lived Forfour that's due to be launched in 2013.
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.