- German pickup truck will be all-electric and just 12ft long
- Makers Smart boast it can fit in the cargo bay of a normal pickup truck
- Has rear-view camera that links to a smartphone ‘mirror’ – the rest of the time, it functions as a normal touchscreen phone
Last updated at 2:56 AM on 10th December 2011
Selling Smart cars – the tiny German ‘microcars’ popular in Europe has always been a tough job in the U.S.
So Smart is set to unveil the first Smart pickup concept – titled the Smart For-U.S.
It will celebrate what Smart calls ‘its world premiere’ at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, 14 – 22 January 2012.
The new Smart car is a pickup truck aimed squarely at the U.S. market – armed with an electric-bike charging station on the back, and a smartphone instead of a rear-view mirror
Smart says the concept is so small it could actually be loaded into the loading area of a normal American pickup truck.
It’s just 12 feet long and 5ft high – and it wears its hi-tech heart on its sleeve.
In place of a conventional rear-view mirror the smart for-us features
a smartphone accommodated in a holder on top of the instrument panel
The driver can see what is happening on the road behind with the help of an integrated video camera.
Two e-bikes will sit in the back, and the loading area is all-electric too – though whether the vehicle’s 12ft length will appeal to Americans remains to be seen
It’s also unlikely to match the roar of the average pickup truck – it has a state-of-the-art electric drive with a55 kW magneto-electric motor the zero-emission smart for-us is agile and lively to drive.
Smart CEO Dr. Annette Winkler says ‘We at smart love pick-ups – if they are small on the outside, large on the inside, very safe and extremely comfortable. With the smart for-us a petrol station is no longer required!’
Obviously, plenty of power sockets will be.Not only does the two-seater run entirely electrically, it also sports a docking station for two e-bikes, and you charge them up as it drives – so you can jump off for yet more environmentally friendly transport once you park up.
Naturally, the cargo area is all-electric, too. ‘When it opens first of all the cargo floor including tailboard retracts by one foot, then the tailgate slides down in a parallel position. The cargo on the 3ft cargo area is then extremely easy to access,’ says Winkler.
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That will never sell in the US. People buy pickup trucks for many reasons, and that little toy doesn’t fill any of them. You can’t haul a ton of bricks in the bed, you can’t tow a bass boat or pair of jetskis with it, It’s useless and will not sell here.
If they were REALLY “Smart” cars, they would realize that in the US, if it can’t haul the kids and Christmas presents the 300 mile drive to grandma’s house, it’s not worth owning.
I would not want to be in one of those death traps! Get real drive a proper car, I have a Jaguar Sovrereign TDVI for best and a Mitsubishi challenger for fun. Great and safe, both big and Beefy, not eco friendly but who really cares. If I can afford it I will run them, it’s my money to enjoy so hard cheese.
WHOA! I want one of those as my first car.
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