New electric Smart ForEase concept unveiled for Paris
The 2018 Paris Motor Show will mark the 20th anniversary of Smart, so Mercedes’s city car brand has revealed a concept to celebrate.
The Smart ForEase is a fully-functioning prototype which does away with a roof completely – in its place sits a pair of roll hoops, complete with integrated ducktail spoiler, behind the seats. There is still a windscreen, but it’s received a hot rod-style chop to give a more dramatic profile.
The ForEase is finished in a mix of metallic white and silver paint, while luminous “steam green” highlights can be found on the front and rear bumpers and the wheels, whose design have the whiff of a reel-to-reel tape player about them.
Other design details are bang up-to date: the LED headlights are joined by a pair of square running lights in the grille, while at the back the ringed tail lamp units give a three-dimensional effect. The door handles are neatly faired into the bodywork, just below where a b-pillar would usually be.
Inside, there’s more of the luminous trim: it finds its way onto the seat bolsters, the stitching, honeycomb elements in the air vents and the infotainment screen surround. It’s also on the chopped steering wheel, which loses the top section of the rim.
Smart has previously announced that it is looking to ditch the combustion engine completely in Europe in favour of electric power – and it has done so already in the USA, Canada and Norway – so, predictably, the ForEase is an EV, too.
It borrows its drivetrain as the EQ forTwo Cabriolet, meaning it pairs an 80bhp electric motor with a 17.6kWh lithium ion battery. Performance and range figures haven’t been quoted, but they should be roughly similar to the production car’s 11.5-second 0-62mph time and circa-100 mile range.
This isn’t the first time that Smart has developed a stripped back roadster concept – the CrossBlade was a roofless (and doorless) design showcase from 2001, while the 2011 ForSpeed was an electric, open-topped concept based on the second-generation Smart.