smart for-us concept puts a mega-pickup spin on the fortwo
By Ben Coxworth
December 7, 2011
Much as some people loathe it, I've always kind of liked the Subaru Baja. It has the quirky short-bed car/truck look of the Hummer, but isn't anywhere near as large and nasty as that vehicle. Well, the designers at smart have taken the "little Hummer" idea to the extreme, with the for-us concept. Premiering next month at the North American International Auto Show, the two-seater electric car looks pretty much like a smart fortwo ... with a little cargo bed in back.
The for-us is a little larger than the fortwo - 613 mm (24 inches) longer, and 50 mm (2 inches) wider on each side. Its drive system consists of a 55-kilowatt magneto-electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, delivering 130 Nm (95.88 ft lbs) of torque. Its top speed is reportedly over 120 mph (193 km/h), although there's no word on range.
The 900-mm (3-foot) rear cargo area could presumably handle a rough, tough mountain bike or two, although it's designed to accommodate a couple of smart ebikes - there's even a docking station, to keep their batteries charged. The idea is that the car(?) could be driven to a pedestrian zone or municipal trail system, at which point the bikes would take over.
One of the for-us' snazzier features is a powered retracting tailboard, which pulls back to allow the tailgate to lie flat, in turn allowing for easy access to the cargo area. The vehicle also features a rear-view camera, which is viewed through a smartphone mounted on top of the instrument panel.
Will we ever see the smart for-us for sale? Who knows? The prototype can be seen at the auto show in Detroit, however, from January 14th to 22nd.
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