2012 Paris Auto Show: The Future Of Smart
|   Sunday, September 16, 2012
At the upcoming Paris Auto Show, automakers will bring their finest to the stands, but the crowds, and us, have a few favorites they are interested in above all else. One of them is Smart. Even if It wasn't owned by Mercedes, it would still be an interesting company to follow.

Now, they plan on brining an electric powered concept car to the stands. The exterior styling on this model may very well be previewing how future Smart car will look like, and we have to say, we find it pleasant to look upon.
Expect to see the 3rd gen fortow and 2nd gen forfour styled in a similar fashion. It should be noted that those models will be developed in cooperation with the French from Renault.

The forstars concept car makes use of the same rear wheel drive platform used in the for-us pickup concept displayed in January at Detroit. Apparently, this concept also represents a glimpse of what a Smart SUV might look like. Smart is considering one in order to counter the folks from Volkswagen and their CrossUp.

"The intention is there, but nothing is decided at this stage. We can't ignore the fact that SUV sales continue to grow and will likely continue to do so in the near future." That was what an internal source told Autoweek, quite a high ranking one to boot.

The first time that idea surfaced was back in 2002, when it was called the formore. However, things didn't go as planned and after a reorganization of Smart, plans were dropped before the car could even dream of going to the 2005 Frankfurt show But all that is about to change with the arrival of the forstars concept car.

The name is taken after its glass roof that allows occupants to gaze at the night sky at will. In terms of styling, the forus is the closest to it. There are some modifications like the oversized headlamps changing the front look, which aim to add visual aggression, a lowered windshield header and a forward-angled B-pillar. The glass hatch opens upward, and the power tailgate section goes down vertically next to the rear bumper and reveals a cargo area 35.4 inches long.

Mercedes-Benz design chief Steffen Koehl is said to have directed the styling efforts. It seems that the Smart forvision which was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show was also a source of inspiration, if we are to judge by the shape of the headlights and taillamps and other small details. That is in addition to keeping the fortwo traditional red-and-black theme.
The inside has room for two, obviously and is dramatically styled. There, we find a projector mounted in the hood's air duct and can be controlled from the inside of the car to project videos on nearby walls. Neat feature. An iPhone replaces the rear mirror, and also shows images captured by the rear camera.

A brushless electric motor found in the back produces 80 horsepower and 96 lb-ft of torque, and together with a 17.6-kWh lithium-ion battery it can be charged via plug-in electricity as well as brake regeneration. Top speed is 81 mph.
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