Remarkable even at closer inspection
As one of the few, I was allowed to sit in the car and get a first feel for the smart #1. Of course it is clear that such a vehicle is a bit better in terms of build quality than the series production version. But even with that in mind you have to tip your hat to the car. Everything feels really good, there is hardly any plastic and great materials everywhere. Nothing is crooked or otherwise conspicuous.
Some of you wanted to know if there is a vegan version, that is not certain at the moment. Apart from that there isn't much to complain about. Personally, I would like the pedals to be a little further to the left so that I don't brush my foot against the center console when driving.
The view of the digital speedometer is perfect and with my 1.90 m I still have a lot of space above my head and on my feet. If I adjust the driver's seat so that I can drive well and have no regard for the passengers behind me, I still have a lot of space in the back seat. Just like the smart fortwo, the smart #1 is a real miracle of space. Even if you don't necessarily see it from the outside. But that's the benefit of the car being based on an all-electric platform.
Conveniently, you can move the rear seat back and forth in individual parts. In fact, I could even push the rear seat almost all the way to the front stop. There would still be room for two people who are 1.90 m tall and the trunk would be even bigger than it already is. And because that's not more than enough storage space already, there's even the option of folding down a hatch on the middle seat for bulky shopping or the weekend ski trip. In addition, of course, the rear seat can be partially and completely be folded down in a 1/3 split.
It only gets tight if you want to occupy #1 with 5 fully grown people. I would call it more of a 4+1 as the middle seat in the back is a bit narrow in favor of the other two. In my everyday experience, it's a good compromise. I'd rather have 4 large seats than 5 seats where all three back seats are a little too narrow. Being on the road with 4 grown-up people is rare and if there are five of you on the road, then probably not long distances, so I can easily tolerate it.
There is also additional storage space under the hood, a trunk. Just perfect for the bulky 22 kW Type 2 charging cable. So it is always out of the way and if you have charged in the rain, for example, you don't have to get the wet and possibly dirty cable sliding around in the trunk. Admittedly, the storage space up front could be bigger. On the other hand, my experience has shown that I only have the cable in the front of the Tesla Model 3, although there would be more space.
Here, the #1 shows again that they have given some thought to the details itself: The bonnet can be opened easily without having to look under the half-open bonnet again for the release.
Those weird door handles?
Although I'm used to the door handles of the Model 3, I had to have the ones of the smart #1 to be explained to me first. What is the idea behind this design?
It actually makes a lot of sense and is only logical: The door handles come out automatically when you approach the car. Either because you have a mobile phone in your pocket or the key itself. To open the door you then use your left hand so that you are already standing to the right of the door and not in front of it. In itself a successful feature, for the Model 3 there are extra kits that people use to retrofit this feature. With the smart #1 it is standard.
Technically extremely sophisticated
I also had the opportunity to talk to people from the newly founded R&D department in Germany. Of course I can't say everything here for obvious reasons, but one thing is clear: In many respects, not only have they built a top-modern car today, they have also prepared it for the requirements of the future. For example, smart had already confirmed to the YouTuber Car Maniac that a Brabus variant with all-wheel drive and over 400 PS would come. It was also sighted yesterday in Asia already. The front axle is already prepared for the front motor and so there are many other things that make the smart #1 a very well thought-out vehicle.
The same applies to the 22 kW charger, with which the smart #1 can be recharged at the public charging station in the city after no more than 3 hours. As is well known, 150 kW CCS is even faster on the motorway, only 30 minutes from 10-80%.
When it comes to the smart #1 and its technology, they rely on the employees' experience in the field of eMobility, some of which goes back decades. Also with my own 8 years of experience I couldn't find anything bad. The smart #1 even has a heat pump, it's really hard to find something it doesn't have.
Which makes me all the more excited for my first test drive. When this is, however, is not yet certain. But I strongly assume that this will be before the end of this year.
While I'm one of the brand's biggest fans, I'm also one of its biggest critics. And yet the car had managed to make me perfectly happy, even speechless. Now the customers only have to confirm this when they get their hands on it. Of course, if possible, nothing negative should be noticed here, but I am extremely positive.
The smart #1 wonderfully expands the model range from smart and opens up a completely new target group for the brand. The brand is also modernizing itself a lot with the smart #1, and I personally like that a lot.