The smart #1 will make its global debut on April 7, 2022, several months after a concept for the fully electric crossover was presented last September. The #1 is significant for the brand as it is the first model to come out of the smart Automobile joint venture penned by Geely and Mercedes-Benz back in 2019.

We don’t get to see much of the #1 in smart’s teasers accompanying the debut date announcement, but we roughly know what the final product will look like based on previous spyshots, patent images and photos of prototypes undergoing testing.

What’s immediately obvious is the resemblance to the Concept #1, so the quirky, jelly bean-like shape survives the transition to production. There are some notable changes seen on the prototypes, including larger headlamps as well as additional corner inlets flanking the central lower intake with active shutters.

We also find larger side mirrors, doors that open in the same direction (the concept had rear suicide doors), thicker B- and C-pillars, along with door handles that are flush with the car’s body. As for the rear, the full-width taillights from the concept are carried over and retain their X-shaped light signature.

The Concept #1 measures 4,290 mm long, 1,910 mm wide, 1,698 mm tall and packs a wheelbase of 2,750 mm, and if the #1 keeps to those figures, it would be comparable in size to the Mercedes-Benz EQA that was launched here recently.

Another aspect that stays true to the concept is the interior, where a tablet-style touchscreen infotainment system dominates the dashboard. The presence of multiple storage cubbies where you would expect physical controls indicate that most vehicle functions, including the climate system, are accessed through the big screen. Elliptical air vents, pillar-mounted speakers and red seatbelts, leather seats with contrast-coloured sections were also seen in the spyshots.

We’ll have to wait a few more days before we get details of the #1’s electric powertrain, although it should be something developed by Geely. Following the joint venture, Geely is responsible for the engineering, while Mercedes-Benz handles the design. Production of the #1 will take place at a new plant in China and the model will be exported to various markets.

This includes Malaysia, as Proton Edar has been appointed the official importer, distributor and dealer for the smart brand in Malaysia and Thailand. The company will benefit from the government’s decision to incentivise EVs here, and the knowledge gained could help accelerate development of its own EV model reportedly due in 2027.

GALLERY: smart #1 spyshots

GALLERY: smart #1 prototype testing

GALLERY: smart Concept #1