Smart Automotive is the brand in the Daimler stable known for its microcars. Often in the US they appear as rentals from the car2go car sharing service, though Americans can buy them as individual rides as well. Smart usually debuts rather cool concepts at auto shows, and from the floor at the Frankfurt Motor Show, a new electric one known as Smart Fourjoy is available for viewing that fits this idea very easily.
The Smart Fourjoy, according to Smart, is a compact four seater design study that sports no doors, no rear window and an open roof to give viewers “an unhindered view of the futuristic interior with its striking rear seat bench in the style of lounge furniture.” It is driven by a purely electric drivetrain, combining a 55 kW magneto-electric motor with a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 17.6 kWh that takes up to seven hours to charge via a wall outlet or less than one hour via fast charging technology.
The vehicle has some rather striking design touches, including a honeycomb structure of the front air inlets and transparent petroleum-coloured moulded parts. There are also what’s described as numerous references to the first Smart model series on the Fourjoy, such as “the extremely short overhangs, the wheels positioned on the four most outer points, the tail lights integrated in the sturdy tridion cell and the spherical instrument cluster.”
On the interior “are the two futuristic-looking front seats and the rear seat bench with a similar design.” The vehicle’s instrument panel, noted Smart,
gives the impression of depth, and with a honeycomb structure and fading it takes up two themes of the exterior. The solid instrument panel support is made of transparent, illuminated plexiglass into which apertures have been milled. The striking multidimensional honeycomb structure was created by moulding on white plastic with a pearlescent effect in these areas. The design of the spherical instrument cluster and the single-spoke steering wheel are reminiscent of the original smart. Two smartphones are mounted on the dashboard and on the centre tunnel at the rear for cutting-edge connectivity and tailor-made entertainment for all four passengers.
One other fascinating aspect of the Fourjoy are two “longboards” – electrically driven skateboards – which are fastened on the electric car’s roof. They are used to cover that last mile or so of distance from where you park to your destination, which is a common issue in older European cities with very limited parking in their center areas. Helmets are included in the EV for the boards, as is a HD camera which can be used to record the longboard riding for later sharing on social networks.