the smart “for-us” pickup: a fun and sassy zero-emission rule-breaker

Demonstrating once again its versatility and innovation, smart has announced that it will unveil a new concept called the “for-us,” during the press preview to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit’s Cobo Center (open to the public January 14-22, 2012). The electric drive for-us takes the shape of the iconic American pickup.

Intended to challenge ideas about how a “right-sized” urban pickup might look and perform, the for-us translates the practical load layout of a pickup to the reality of 21st century urban traffic. With its small outside dimensions, it could almost go unnoticed in the bed of a typical American pickup. Under the body, it’s anything but ordinary: state-of-the-art all-electric power with a 55-kilowatt magneto-electric motor, the for-us is agile and lively to drive.

Dr. Annette Winkler, smart CEO, says, “We at smart love pick-ups – if they are small on the outside, large on the inside, very safe and extremely comfortable. With the smart for-us a petrol station is no longer required!”

The smart for-us has plenty of room for two people and, behind them, for two smart ebikes. Thanks to the convenient docking station in the cargo bed, the ebike batteries are always charged, enabling smart for-us passengers to reach destinations that are out of bounds for cars, for example, park trails and restricted zones in cities.

a sassy, powerful design

The for-us pickup makes a powerful design statement, playing on the macho image of conventional mega-pickups. At the same time, it greets viewers with a friendly, confident face. With convex and sensuous body shapes, the for-us features a pronounced three-dimensional look, complete with a smart emblem on the grille and an underride guard that finishes off the front end.  

Inside, the cockpit design boasts aerodynamic design for exceptional interior ventilation, with taut surfaces in mother-of-pearl white contrasting with brushed aluminum working parts,. Stylish yet uncomplicated, the two seats in the concept car are typically smart – highly functional and easy to customize. Open in the middle, the seat shells are covered with a soft fabric, giving them a hammock-like seating feel. Instead of a conventional rear-view mirror, an integrated video camera displays the area behind the car on a smart phone that’s mounted on a special bracket above the dash.

Compared with a production smart fortwo, the for-us has a wheelbase that’s two feet longer, and to emphasize its sturdy look, the track is two inches wider. At the same time, its extremely short front and rear overhangs make it very small overall. When its power tailgate opens, the cargo floor retracts 11 inches, making the three-foot cargo area easy to access.

The electric drive of the smart for-us is based on the fortwo electric drive model, which will be launched from the spring of 2012. Thanks to its 55-kilowatt magneto- electric motor, the smart for-us is nimble and lively to drive. With 96 pound-feet of torque, the for-us boasts powerful, responsive acceleration and a top speed over 80 mph. Its state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 17.6 kilowatt-hours of electric power.

Source: Mercedes Benz

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