New Smart #1 to be priced from £35,950 in the UK

25 Apr 2023
Smart #1

The new Smart #1 compact electric SUV will arrive in the UK this summer, priced from £35,950.

The first machine – it's pronounced Hashtag 1, in case you were wondering – is the first model from the reinvented brand, which is now co-owned by Mercedes-Benz and Geely, the China giant that owns Volvo and Polestar.

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The Renault Megane E-Tech and Kia Niro EV rival is the first new Smart since 2014 and marks the beginning of a new series of bespoke electric cars being developed by the brand, all of which will use the hashtag naming convention. Smart recently unveiled its second model, the larger Smart #3 (Should we ask about #2, or is it a bit hashtag awkward?). 

The Smart #1 will be offered to UK buyers in three trim levels: Pro+, Premium, a limited-run Launch Edition and a range-topping Brabus variant from the firm's performance division. The three standard models all use a 200kW single-motor powertrain, while the Brabus version gains a twin-motor set-up adding all-wheel-drive.

The entry-level Pro+ models are priced from £35,950 and include a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, heated seats, a 360-degree camera and an automatic boot. It has an official range of 260 miles.

Priced from £38,950, Premium models ass a Beats audio system, head-up display and automatic parking assist. Perhaps more significantly, also included is a 22kW on-board charger, a silicon carbide investor and a heat pump – which increases the official range to 273 miles.

The Launch Edition is priced from £39,450 and just 1000 cars will be produced – with only 100 coming to the UK. It features a white body and gold roof, a bespoke Launch Edition 'halo roof' with a chequered pattern, and 19in alloy wheels. The interior features exclusive trim colours and a two-tone leather design, and all the options includes with Premium models.

The Smart #1 Brabus (below) is priced from £43,450, and features a number of bespoke design elements intended to make it look more 'aggressive', including bonnet vents, bespoke paint and 19in wheels. Inside there's an Alcantara steering wheel, microfibres suede seats. 

More significantly, the Brabus models get a significant power boost, with the extra motor lifting output to 315kW, with torque rising from 253 to 431lb ft. That results in a 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds, although it does reduce the range to 248 miles.

Geely – responsible for the technical development of the car – has built the new Smart SUV around its new SEA platform, which first featured on the Zeekr 001 and is also used for the Polestar 4.

Sitting in the floor of the #1 is a 66kWh nickel-manganese-cobalt battery pack which delivers a claimed range of 273 miles. Using a 150kW rapid charging device the car can be charged from 10-80% in less than 30 minutes, while a 22kW home charging device would boost the battery by the same amount in around three hours. 

Mercedes, meanwhile, has focused its efforts on the #1's design, with chief design officer, Gordon Wagener stating that the new Smart "is grown up, cool and embodies beauty", adding that the SUV has a new design language called "Sensual Product". 

Aerodynamic efficiency appears to be a key part of the #1's design, with a number of cues such as the concealed door handles and smooth bodylines helping the new EV on to a drag coefficient of 0.29. This should make the car less air resistant and help to increase its overall range and performance. 

The curved front light bar and headlights are mirrored at the rear, where another lightbar runs across the boot. Smart describes the new #1 design as "forward-thinking". 

Inside, the new compact SUV's interior is described by its maker as "putting the customer at the centre" thanks to a dedicated smartphone app, which gives the driver access to a suite of connectivity features. 

A high-definition 12.8 inch infotainment screen dominates the centre of the dashboard. The infotainment system is fully customisable and features an avatar with AI based voice control, allowing drivers to communicate with the interface. 

In front of the steering wheel sits a 9.2 inch digital instrument cluster that will display key information on the car such as range. Drivers will also benefit from a 10-inch head-up display. 

Smart will also offer over-the-air updates and claim that more than 75% of the cars ECU can be updated remotely.