If you believe the reports, the future of Smart is in jeopardy.
According to reports from late 2018, Daimler may kill off the brand if Renault pulls out of its partnership with the German automaker when the current Smart ForFour and Renault Twingo reach the end of their life cycles.
Rather than soldier on without the help of Renault, Daimler may kick Smart to the curb and, if necessary, build Mercedes-badged superminis.
However, if there was a single vehicle that could help secure the future of Smart, it could be this.
Created by Robert Hahn, it is dubbed the Smart EQ4 and, as the name suggests, it would form part of Daimler’s EQ electric vehicle family. Created as an affordable rival to the Tesla Model 3, the Smart EQ4 could make use of the latest and greatest electric and autonomous technologies from Mercedes‘ portfolio and give a new lease of life to the brand that’s become synonymous with city cars.
Visually, the EQ4 has a cute and approachable vibe just like the Smart cars we’ve come to love – or love to hate. It’s also been designed to allow as much sunlight into the cabin as possible. Consequently, there are huge glass panels where you’d normally find doors and a single piece of glass that combines the windscreen, roof, and rear window.
Hahn has imagined the vehicle with a battery pack large enough to provide 500 km (310 miles) of range and a 3.9-second 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration, along with seating for up to 5 people with luggage.