At least some part of the automotive future will be electric, but that doesn't have to mean we all need to drive utilitarian appliances intended only to get you from point A to point B. They can be cute, fun, and even fast. At least, that's what Smart is trying to say with the ForSpeed concept it will show at the 2011 International Motor Show in Geneva next month.
The Smart ForSpeed is a take on the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive that's currently being tested in Europe and the U.S. The two-seater concept car has no roof, windows, or exterior door handles. Drivers and passenger use the interior handles to enter the vehicle. The interior is protected from the elements by a tonneau, but in case you forget to cover the car before a storm, the interior is waterproofed and channels drain water from the car. The streamlined interior shows only one cup holder, which would never fly in the U.S. And like many Smart cars on the road today, for an infotainment system the ForSpeed uses the occupant's phone, which is mounted on an adjustable cradle on the passenger side to avoid driver distraction. But as it is a Smart car, the phone is still within arm's reach.
A 16 kWh battery powers the 30 kW motor that's housed in the rear compartment. The battery delivers an 85-mile range and can be recharged from zero to 80 percent in just 45 minutes using a 220-volt outlet. The concept electric car goes from 0 kph to 60 kph in just 5.5 seconds, meaning that 5.5 seconds will get it to about 37 mph. The gasoline-powered 2011 Smart ForTwo Coupe goes from 0 mph to 60 mph in 12.8 seconds. But no one buys a Smart car for its speed, anyway.
The vehicle will be shown alongside the electric scooter and e-bike that debuted at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.