Could A Car Like This Save Smart From Possible Extinction?

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.

more photos...
  • Evan McMaster

    This is the type of stuff they should’ve been producing to begin with

  • Six_Tymes

    I am surprised they lasted as they as they have. They have been way overpriced from the beginning. And although these design sketch renders look pretty good, this design might work when and if autonomous becomes prevalent, but for now it looks like there isn’t much crash protection, especially from side impact.

  • TheBelltower

    Sure. Any product at all could potentially save Smart.

  • Mike anonymous

    What they NEED is to build the Smart For-Us & the Smart Forstars.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5a35976c5c9349a19320f1b933fd26eb083e482ad5cbb124723695f8bd0062b8.png

    They Built fully working prototypes that could be legally driven on public roads alongside other vehicles (handling actual things such as speed bumps and regular driving speeds and conditions unlike most ‘road going‘ concepts). This would be a great decision to help Smart out as it would be a great alternative (especially with it being electric) to the Mini Cooper.
    I personally believe that is where Smart should aim their future products at, as a shift from the vehicles they currently make, to becoming the ‘electric (competitor/alternative to) Mini’ , would be a great decision.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/28671e7c5bf5c39f90979318fa5811587c65d603966313339e5b3f319a8518c7.png

    Both vehicle concepts/prototypes were beautiful and were something customers were really interested in when they debuted back at the beginning of the decade. I personally have always liked the “Smart Car” brand, and I certainly would make it my next vehicle if they decided to build it.

    • I agree, they should make the ForUs and ForVision. Both are very appealing designs, more than the current Fortwo.

  • Matteo Tommasi

    Quick answer: NO
    They have Mercedes, smart is for the snart, not a big sedan

  • erly5

    Surely they need to build a small crossover to save the smart brand and complement the current range. Why are some manufacturers so slow to respond to new trends? Also, smart should not overlap with the Mercedes range.

  • Mike Gonzalez

    they don’t need to build a new model for its line-up, just bring the price down quite a bit… the EV Smart costs in excess of 32.000 euros… for a 2 seats car that can’t drive for more than 160km in a single charge, like WTF!? with such specs it shouldn’t cost more than 17.000 euros

  • Mr. EP9

    No.

  • I would like to see a fuel cell version of it. I think fuel cells are better than just batteries.

  • Bash

    What they need is to open a branch in Japan, or establish an arm in japan if that matters and focus on the Kei cars, but instead of focusing on the Japanese market, they should consider taking the Kei car world wide. and of course and small mini SUV would help a lot.

  • IT’S CUTE, BUT GOING FROM A TWO SEAT CITY CAR TO AN ELECTRIC WITH 310 MILE RANGE IS KIND OF LIKE MG GOING FROM A TWO SEAT CONVERTIBLE TO SUV’S.

  • Wayne Alan Carr Heyes

    Think logically here why hasn’t Mercedes done more for smart? They pump all there money into the new EQ brand and Mercedes and leave smart with just 2! Models! No one can survive long term with just 2 models!!!

    If Mercedes don’t care for the brand then sell
    It to someone who will make smart a truely affordable brand!

    • AND WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG TO MAKE IT AN EV?

      • Mike anonymous

        Mercedes? Mercedes has been making EVs’ longer than Tesla has, it is just they weren’t very popular, and no one knew about them. “E-Cell” used to be the previous brand name I believe.

        As for Smart… well I can agree

        • NO THE SMART BRAND. IT’S A NATURAL FOR EV’S BUT IT TOOK THEM A LONG TIME TO RELEASE ONE.

  • Richard Taylor

    We’ve already had a larger 4-door from Smart and it almost saw off the brand altogether. I’m all for electrification of the brand but agree with some of the other commenters that if Merc can’t make it profitable or expandable, they need to ditch it – either an it completely or sell it to someone with an ambition for it.

  • Stephen G

    I don’t see how a MB EV super-mini that looks like it could be a 2000 Dodge Concept (ie Razor) will rival a Tesla Model3. And if “Hahn has imagined” the range of an EV that would possibly see the light of day around 2028 maybe, then why wouldn’t he imagine something at least better than what’s available today.

  • Yishay

    Build it fast

Mil-Spec’s Overhauled Hummer H1 Gets 500 HP, $295k Price Tag

A 1996 slant-back H1 was stripped and comprehensively re-engineered to be both tougher and more modern.

Maxing Out The Porsche 911 GT2 RS Will Take You To 211 MPH

The 690 HP 911 GT2 RS was barely slower than the mighty McLaren 720S down the exact same runway.

Man Killed In Massive Crash Caused By Challenger Driver Fleeing Police

The 34-year-old Dodge driver has been charged with second-degree murder and vehicular homicide.

Should The Tech-Heavy 2019 Audi A6 Worry Rivals Like The Mercedes E-Class?

The latest Audi A6 offers sharper but still stealth looks and a whole lot of tech features.

Relive The ‘90s In This Barely-Driven Infiniti M30 Convertible

Like all Infiniti M30s, this one started life as a coupe and was turned into a convertible.

Lexus RC F Set To Star In ‘Men In Black: International Movie’

The Lexus RC F from Men in Black: International is a bespoke alien-fighting machine.

Negligent Jeep Driver Swerves Into Truck, Flips Over Causing Huge Wreck In Illinois

Despite the severity of this crash, nobody was seriously injured, apart from a few scrapes and bruises.

Derelict Lancia Brought Back From The Dead Thanks To Thornley Kelham

Many would claim it was unsalvageable but not Thornley Kelham.

Is Porsche Planning Panamera Coupe And Convertible?

The rumored two-door Porsches might actually ditch the Panamera moniker and could arrive as early as 2020.

Jaguar Land Rover’s Sales Momentum In USA Is A Priority For The Company

JLR wants to keep growing in the US while trying to find a solution for China, Europe.