Prior to the opening of Paris Motor Show next week, Mercedes-Benz’s Smart division announced that it will be bringing an electric-powered concept car to the event.
The next-generation Smart car, also known as Forstars, is a two-seat vehicle that previews the exterior styling set for a new model. It includes the third-generation Fortwo and second-generation Forfour. Both will be developed and produced in cooperation with Renault.
Smart Forstars: The New Sport-utility Coupe
The concept behind Forstars is similar with the rear-engine/rear-wheel-drive mechanical package used on the For-us pickup, which was presented during the Detroit motor show last January.
It also gives a hint at what Smart describes as a new sport-utility coupe. The car is also under consideration as an affordable rival to other models like Volkswagen CrossUp. According to a high-ranking source from Smart:
The intention is here, but nothing is decided at this stage. We can’t ignore the fact that SUV sales continue to grow and will likely to continue to do so in the near future.
The Germany-based car manufacturer initially announced plans for a SUV in 2002. However, plans for the so-called Formore were abandoned during the company’s reorganization.
Under Forstars’ Hood
Although it is considerably smaller, Smart’s latest concept car is designed to fill a similar market niche. It was named as Forstars because it allows owners to peer into the night sky with the car’s glass roof.
Its styling is similar to For-us, although it features a new front look. This includes oversized headlamps for additional visual aggression, lowered windshield header, and a forward-angled B-pillar. It has a glass hatch that opens upwards, as well as a lowered power tailgate that reveals a 35.4-inch long cargo area.
The vehicle’s exterior is engineered under the supervision of Mercedes-Benz’s advanced design chief Steffen Koehl. Smart Fostars’ design retains the familiar red-and-black theme, which has been a signature of all Smart models since the original Fortwo became available in 1998. On the other hand, the shape of its taillamps and headlights recalls the look of Forvision that was revealed during the 2011 Frankfurt show.
It also features large, 21-inch wheels shod with 245/35 tires. The car is also larger than the Fortwo at 139.8 x 67.3 x 67.0 inches. The Smart Forstar is powered by a 17.6 kWh Li-ion battery that can be charged via plug-in electric system. It also produces 80 hp and 96 pound-foot of torque, and it features a top speed of 81 mph.
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