When we often talk about concept cars they usually stand out because of some slick green technology that could someday make it into actual production. Small car brand Smart is unveiling for the 2012 Paris Motor Show an electric car concept that doesn’t necessarily innovative in the eco-space, but is instead fun because you can turn it into a big video projector.
First the green car stuff – the Smart forstars is pretty standard as far as electric vehicles go from this Daimler brand, though the output of the magneto-electric motor has been increased to 60 kW to give it a little more oomph on the road. It has a top speed of around 80 MPH and the lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 17.6 kWh.
Now that we have those technical specs out of the way, we can focus on the more fun aspects of this concept, self described as a “sports utility coupe.” As mentioned, a video projector is built into the vehicle’s front bonnet so one could, for example, pull into a small park in zero emissions style and fire up their favorite movie to share with others. To share audio, the Smart forstars is outfitted with what’s said to be “a high-quality sound system with additional loudspeakers in the ventilation openings behind the doors” for broadcasting the sound to those hanging out in the nearby area.
An interesting design touch for the Smart forstars is a convex glass coupé roof above the passengers’ heads that is said to give a “clear view of the starry sky.” It joins quite nicely, according to Smart, with a glass cover over the cargo area which opens upwards. The overall exterior look of the electric car is part sporty, part sassy, but definitely not practical if it were a real production model.
The interior is in many ways just as intriguing as the outer design. The two front passenger seats, for example, are covered with a soft fabric throw giving them a hammock-like seating feel. These throws can be removed if one wants to make use of other styles, and when the seat cover on the passenger side is removed, long items can be loaded through the seat of the car.
Among other interior design touches, “a smartphone accommodated in a holder at the top of the windscreen” replaces the traditional rear-view mirror. Through this the driver can see what is happening on the road behind with the help of an integrated video camera, as well as making use of the smartphone both as a media source for and control of the video projector.
As I said, since this is a concept design don’t expect to ever see it on the open roads as an actual car for sale. It is still a fun design idea though which reinvents the definition of drive in cinema.