Smart Concept #5 Previews Brand’s First Midsize Electric SUV

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The Smart car brand changed course after its owner, Mercedes-Benz, sold half of the company to China’s Geely, which proceeded to create a series of models built on its modular SEA platform, also used by some Volvo and Polestar models. All models shown after the partnership was announced bore a hashtag name and kept getting bigger, and now that’s culminated with the biggest vehicle to ever wear a Smart badge, the #5, which was just revealed in concept form.

This is the roomiest and most off-road-focused Smart ever, bigger than the #3, and it features a very big battery pack. We’ve not been told its exact capacity, but it has over 100 kilowatt-hours, which gives it a WLTP range of 341 miles. It also features 800-volt technology, so it can charge from 10 to 80% in just 15 minutes, which means it has impressive charging speed when you take into account the size of its battery.

No word in the press release on how many motors this will have in production form and whether it will be available with all-wheel drive. However, the SEA platform does support this configuration and based on its design and the off-road focus of this concept with its raised ride height and chunky tires, we say it will have come as a dual-motor all-wheel drive vehicle at least as an option.

Its exterior design features all the typical cues we associate with the brand, shared with the #1 and #3, but adapted to fit on a tall, upright body with short overhangs that has a similar shape to a Mercedes EQB. The concept has front and rear skid plates, folding steps on the sides, a winch integrated into the front bumper and a big light bar to emphasize its off-road readiness—none of these elements won’t make it into production, though.

The focal point of the interior is the three-screen array on the dashboard, featuring one driver’s display behind the steering wheel and two additional infotainment screens, including one for the front passenger. The two larger screens have OLED technology and have a powerful AMD V2000 chip that should ensure smooth, lag-free running. Its onboard AI-powered assistant will provide “engaging conversations,” according to the manufacturer.

Smart says the front seats have a “zero-gravity” design, which “offers an innovative combination of comfort and safety,” but it doesn’t explain what this means exactly. According to Dirk Adelmann, CEO of Smart Europe, “The smart Concept #5 is the most unexpected and versatile car that our brand has ever created. With this vehicle, we leave all boundaries behind and open up a new segment for customers in Europe and worldwide.”

The #5 concept will be unveiled later this week at the Beijing motor show and the production version will be revealed and launched by the end of the year in China and Europe.

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