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We’re all familiar with the Smart ForTwo, which is a polarizing vehicle to say the least, but initial impressions of their newest concept, the Forspeed EV Roadster, which debuted at the Geneva Auto Show, are all lining up in one direction, and it’s not exactly positive.
Sure, the chopped roof and windshield are kind of cool, but the front end treatment looks like two Lifesaver candies and a sheet of chickenwire, and the three-spoke wheels look to be inspired by mid-1990′s MOMOs you could have purchased from TireRack. The electric powertrain puts out around 40 horsepower, with a 7 horsepower “overboost” function and a top speed of 75 mph. We’ll stick with the standard ForTwo. If we must.
GALLERY: Smart Forspeed EV Roadster
The Forspeed concept is Smart‘s interpretation of a zero-emissions roadster, based on the only vehicle Smart currently builds: its Fortwo city car.
It’s designed to complement the rest of Smart’s electric transportation lineup for really small vehicles, which includes a scooter and a bicycle. The squat, roofless car features huge, ringed headlights reminiscent of eyelashes, dotted grilles, and a white-on-white color scheme inside and out, designed with a “unique and electric look, but is still recognizable as a Smart,” says Mercedes head of design Steffen Kohl.
And you may think three-spoke wheels fell out of fashion in the late-90s, but the Forspeed is rocking them with pride. The interior also features brown leather trim on the door pulls and steering wheel, and solar cells in the wind deflectors to power the car’s electronics.
The 40-horsepower electric motor in the back features an “overboost” function: when the driver presses a button in the center console the motor calls up seven extra horsepower. Think of it as a really toned-down version of the Turbo function from OutRun. The motor can propel the Forspeed up to 75mph and a range of 84 miles.
Several design patents of what appear to be a new Smart concept car have popped up online, showing what appears to be a typically unconventional small city car. We’re sorry to get your hopes up, but this is not a successor to the Smart Roadster, but rather a roadster (or cabriolet), inspired by the 2002 Crossblade concept.
Like the Crossblade, this model is based on the fortwo’s underpinnings, although with a more modern refresh that’s likely to inspire the next generation of the city car. This new model also differs in that it retains more traditional doors.
With these sketches being released now, it’s likely that we could see an in-the-sheetmetal concept debut soon. The Detroit Auto Show is probably too early and we’d look to the Geneva Show in March.
GALLERY: Smart Roadster/Cabriolet Patents