The new smart forstars concept car debuted on Tuesday certainly takes a new approach to both small cars and utility crossovers, but is Mercedes-Benz crazy enough to build it?
First off, that name. The name, smart forstars, doesn't actually allude to attracting celebrities (though they may be the only ones weird enough to drive one). It refers to the panoramic glass roof, which if lying down on the large rear cargo area, would indeed provide quite a beautiful view of the sky. The question is whether or not the forstars will ever be available to those adventurous enough to want one.
Smart seems to be hinting that it will see the light of day, at least in one capacity or another. "The smart is the most inexpensive series-produced electric car,” says smart head Dr. Annette Winkler, though she neglects to list a price or production plans.
But the idea certainly is intriguing. The smart forstars is longer and wider than the smart fortwo, though it remains a two-seater. Instead, the rear space is turned into a flat deck in a design that smart calls a Sports Utility Coupe. This is how smart does a crossover, we are to presume.
Powered by a 60-kW magneto-electric motor and lithium-ion battery, the forstars produces 100 lb.-ft of torque and can reach a top speed of 80 mph. That’s not the only futuristic feature, either. A projector media player is located in the hood for a “spontaneous cinematic experience,” and a smartphone sits where the rearview mirror normally would. You can also use your smartphone to set the interior temperature before getting inside.
We don’t expect to see most of these features if the smart forstars actually enters production, but it does provide an interesting glimpse into the future of smart design as the brand attempts to expand beyond its one quirky model.
Stay tuned for much more coverage from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.