America has had a love affair with the pickup truck since Henry Ford welded a cargo box on the back of a Model T in 1925. That vehicle, which sold for $281, has been the template for a vehicle style that perennially tops sales reports. Now, smart, the automaker that introduced the micro car to the United States in 2008, is offering a new take on the iconic utility vehicle. Smart, which is a division of Daimler, recently announced that they will premiere their new electric mini pickup, the smart for-us, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.
The four-us measures about 11.6 feet long, which is nearly 50 percent longer than the company’s recently launched electric mini car, the fourtwo. While a standard compact pickup truck measures close to 16 feet, the new smart has some innovative features to make up for it’s diminutive size.
The truck’s bed, which is just over three feet long, features a docking station used to charge a pair of the company’s e-bikes. The bed and tailgate of the truck are both electrified, and when opened the bed slides back toward the tailgate to allow easier access. The tailgate itself can either automatically retract or be used to extend the bed.
Smart calls the concept an “urban pickup” targeted toward the “young and young-at-heart with active lives who attach importance to low emissions and taking up minimum road space.” The car sports a brushed aluminum body highlights and in place of a conventional rear-view mirror the smart for-us features a smartphone accommodated in a holder on top of the instrument panel support. The driver can see what is happening on the road behind with the help of an integrated video camera.
The four-us is powered by a lithium-ion battery that’s hooked up to magneto-electric motor with 73 horsepower that pushes the mini pickup to a top speed of 75 mph, and an estimated 0-37 mph time of around 6.5 seconds.