Smart, the brand that once made small city cars, is now reinventing itself as a maker of electric crossovers. The latest model to join the lineup is the Smart 3, which debuted at the Auto Shanghai show in April 2023. The Smart 3 is a compact coupe-like crossover that promises to combine style, performance and efficiency in a package that will appeal to urban drivers.
The Smart 3 is based on the same Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform from Geely that also underpins the Smart #1, the brand's first electric crossover that launched in 2022. The SEA platform is a modular and scalable architecture that can accommodate various battery sizes, power outputs, and vehicle types. It also supports fast charging and over-the-air updates.
The design of the Smart 3 is similar to the Smart 1, but with some distinctive differences. The front end features a trapezoidal grille with a light bar that connects the triangular headlights. The side profile has a sleek and dynamic shape, with a sloping roofline and pronounced wheel arches. The rear end has a full-width LED taillights that wraps around the tailgate. The Smart 3 is available in vibrant colors like Photon Orange Metallic and Electric Blue Matt, contrasting with the black roof and pillars.
The interior of the Smart 3 is spacious and modern, with a minimalist dashboard that houses a 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a digital instrument cluster. The center console has three circular air vents and a rotary knob for selecting the drive modes. The seats are upholstered in Vibrant Brown leather, and the cabin is equipped with a 13-speaker Beats sound system. The Smart 3 also offers voice control, wireless charging, and smartphone integration.
Smart has not revealed any technical details about the powertrain or battery of the Smart 3, but it is expected to share some components with the Smart 1. The Smart 1 has a rear-mounted electric motor that delivers 268 hp and 253 pound-feet of torque and a 66-kilowatt-hour battery that provides between 260 miles and 273 miles of range in the WLTP cycle. The Smart 1 also has a performance-oriented Brabus version that has a dual-motor setup with 422 horsepower and can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds.
The Smart 3 will go on sale in China by the end of 2023 and in Europe in early 2024. The pricing has not been announced yet, but it is likely to be competitive with other electric crossovers in its segment, such as the Skoda Enyaq Coupe and the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Smart is planning to launch one new model every year until 2027 as part of its joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
The Smart 3 is a bold and exciting addition to the electric crossover market, offering a stylish and sporty alternative to conventional SUVs. With its sleek design, spacious interior, and advanced technology, the Smart 3 is a smart choice for drivers who want to embrace the future of mobility.