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[NEWS] Smart #3: firm’s largest model yet rivals Volkswagen ID 5

Smart #3: firm’s largest model yet rivals Volkswagen ID 5

2023 Smart <a style=#3 at Shanghai motor show 2" title="2023 Smart #3 at Shanghai motor show 2" />
The #3 should feature a single-motor powertrain making 268bhp

Rakish-roofed electric crossover is set to offer 268bhp and up to 273 miles of range

The Smart #3 has been revealed at the Shanghai motor show as the brand’s second electric SUV, following the smaller Smart #1

Like the #1, it has been designed by Mercedes-Benz and based on underpinnings from Chinese car giant Geely, the two firms now co-managing the EV-only brand on a 50:50 basis. 

The firm said technical specifications for the #3 would arrive later, but information leaked out of China has revealed that it's 4400mm long, 1800mm wide and 1600mm tall with a wheelbase of 2785mm – a similar size to the Volkswagen ID 5.

It is, however, expected to weigh between 1870kg and 1980kg, making it around 300kg lighter than its German rival.

Power output and range are expected to remain similar to those of the #1, meaning basic models should feature a single motor with 268bhp and a range of up to 273 miles.

A hot Brabus variant will likely join the line-up, too, yielding a notable boost in power, if not range. 

Designed primarily to bring new customers to Smart, the new "sports utility coupé" aims to give the brand a foothold in the increasingly popular electric SUV market. 

It's set to be presented to a European audience at the Munich motor show in September and is expected to go on sale in Europe in early 2024. 

The #3 has been styled with a strong focus on aerodynamics, with design influenced in part by the Mercedes-Benz EQ range.

At the front, its smooth front fascia pairs slim headlights with a "shark nose" familiar from the smaller #1 and a characteristic A-shape grille. 

Moving to the side, it features door handles that sit flush with the bodywork, a prominent beltline and coupé-esque roofline. 

At the rear, an LED lightbar nods to the #3’s relationship with Mercedes’ EQA and EQB crossovers.  

Inside, the #3 gets turbine-style air vents, a 12.8in infotainment touchscreen, seats with integrated headrests and a 13-speaker Beats sound system, plus more rear passenger space than in the #1, thanks to the longer wheelbase. Ambient lighting and a panoramic sunroof are available on the options list.

The #3 will be offered in colours including Photon Orange Metallic and Electric Blue Matte. Inside, customers can select a new Vibrant Brown upholstery option.

Prices will be confirmed nearer to the #3’s UK launch, but a circa-£45,000 price would put some distance between the #1 and #3 while bringing the latter in line with rivals including the ID 5, Skoda Enyaq iV and Tesla Model Y.

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