Remember Smart? They Make 640-HP SUVs Now

The new Smart #5 SUV makes up to seven times the power of the old ForTwo city car.
Smart

Pulled from the American market in 2020 (did you even notice?), Smart continued selling cars everywhere else, namely China. And the cars produced by Smart today are not two-seater microcars like the easily forgotten ForTwo. Nope, the Smart lineup is now 1) all-electric, 2) all crossovers, and 3) all-wheel drive with 638 horsepower, if you desire. What in tarnation?

Smart, which is today a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Geely, currently offers two models: the subcompact Smart #1 and less-compact #3. The brand’s next product, unsurprisingly, will be called the #5. (Auto marketers the world over have obviously abandoned giving genuine names to new cars. Have all the deserts and mountain ranges been trademarked or something?)

Based on the Smart Concept #5, which debuted at the Beijing Auto Show in April, the production #5 will be the EV maker’s biggest, boldest, and rugged-est offering yet. A certification filing in China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology unearthed by CarNewsChina has revealed some details, and among them is that the small-but-brawny SUV should offer 638 hp from a dual-motor powertrain in its top spec.

According to the paperwork, the Smart #5 will be available with four powertrains and four colors. The base model will offer a single, 358-horsepower motor on the rear axle. That’s still pretty spicy by the standard of the Smarts we’re accustomed to this side of the pond. There’s also a less powerful two-motor setup bringing 579 hp, and all of the trims will top out somewhere between about 124 and 130 mph. If the pocket-sized ForTwo touted any of these figures, it’d be a safety hazard. Even the Brabus-tuned EQ ForTwo only managed 92 hp.

According to the paperwork, the Smart #5 will feature an 800-volt platform and have ultra-fast charging capability, allowing it to juice up from 10 to 80 percent within 15 minutes. With a 100-kWh battery pack equipped, the range is projected to top out at 342 miles—at least according to the rather optimistic WLTP test cycle.

There’s no word on pricing yet, but the on-sale date is expected to be near the end this year and look—it’s not bound for the U.S. anyway. That ship sailed and doesn’t appear slated for a return voyage. Just know that these days, Smart’s about different things than parallel parking in spaces most other vehicles can’t.

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