City car maker plans EV sports concept for Geneva

Smart has released the first images of a new concept car to be debuted at next month's Geneva Motor Show.

The Daimler-owned automaker, which makes the iconic Fortwo city car, released sketches and renderings of a model called the Smart Forspeed February 22, promising to prove "electric mobility can be fun."

Unusually, the Forspeed features no roof and no windows, instead offering its two occupants an "incomparable fresh air driving experience," made all the cleaner by the 30kW electric motor on board.

Using this, the Forspeed can manage 135 km of driving with a top speed of 120 km/h, making it comparable to the Fortwo electric drive models which are currently undergoing real life testing in Europe and the US.

It also adds a boost function activated by pushing a button, which provides an extra 5 kW of power designed to aid overtaking on highways, for example.

The Forspeed is intended to represent a design continuation from the e-scooter the brand presented at last year's Paris Motor Show, using a similar high gloss white metallic paintwork and incorporating some of the scooter's weatherproof features on the interior equipment (and water drainage holes in the floor and seats, in case it should rain) and the smartphone link.

Smart hasn't produced a sports model since it ceased production of the Smart Roadster in 2006, and although there's no indication it is planning one, the company says that its model is "a pioneer for a new paradigm of mobility."

It will be one of several companies expected to showcase electric sports cars at the upcoming Geneva show, competing particularly with Nissan, the automaker behind the Leaf electric vehicle currently on sale in the US and Europe.

Nissan announced earlier this month that it will showcase the ESFLOW, an all-electric sports car based on the technology behind the Leaf and believed by some to be production-ready.

The Geneva Motor Show is open to the public March 3-13 in Geneva, Switzerland.

http://www.salon-auto.ch/en/

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