EVx 2023: smart #1 makes local debut ahead of Q4 launch – come see the 66 kWh, 440 km EV at SCCC!

EVx 2023: smart #1 makes local debut ahead of Q4 launch – come see the 66 kWh, 440 km EV at SCCC!

There’s no shortage of shiny new EVs at the paultan.org EVx 2023 at Setia City Convention Centre this weekend, but none are newer than the smart #1. The reborn brand – now a 50:50 JV between Mercedes-Benz and Geely – is making its Malaysian debut at EVx and its first product, the #1 (pronounced hashtag one), is here at Hap Seng Smart‘s booth.

The new smart is an EV-only brand, and the #1 sits on Geely’s Sustainable Electric Architecture (SEA), a modular EV platform that also underpins the likes of the Lotus Eletre (just across the hall at EVx), Zeekr 001 and Polestar EVs. The SEA2 version of the base is shared with the Zeekr X and the recently-revealed Volvo EX30. Mercedes-Benz is in charge of the car’s design – what do you think of Stuttgart’s efforts?

The #1 is supposed to be a B-segment SUV, although it looks like a big hatchback to these eyes. The car’s stout and square stance is from its width (32 mm wider than a Honda HR-V despite being 115 mm shorter) and very long wheelbase of 2,750 mm (140 mm longer than HR-V), the latter pushing the 19-inch wheels to the extreme corners – there’s virtually no overhang at either end. This square base allows the #1 to be tall (46 mm taller than HR-V) without looking awkward.

EVx 2023: smart #1 makes local debut ahead of Q4 launch – come see the 66 kWh, 440 km EV at SCCC!

The #1 Premium on display at EVx is powered by a single rear motor with 272 PS (200 kW) and 343 Nm of torque going to the rear wheels. That’s good for a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 6.7 seconds. Top speed is capped at 180 km/h. There will be a high-performance #1 Brabus variant that adds on a front motor to make it AWD, 428 PS (315 kW), 543 Nm and 3.9 seconds in the benchmark sprint – it’s coming soon, so stay tuned.

The #1 Premium’s battery is a 66-kWh lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) unit providing 440 km of WLTP-rated range. The maximum DC charge rate is 150 kW, and 10-80% state of charge (SoC) can be reached in 30 minutes. There’s always plenty of focus on DC fast charging, but an EV’s primary source of juice should be AC, and the #1 stands out in the field with 22 kW AC when most rivals max out at 11 kW.

Having an onboard 22 kW AC charger makes a big difference – smart Malaysia says that going from 10-80% SoC takes just three hours. This means that you can have a long lunch break or rest time at home and when you’re done, the EV is replenished, all without paying DC rates. Of the EVs currently sold in Malaysia, only the ’55 quattro’ variants of the Audi Q8 e-tron/e-tron GT and the Porsche Taycan support 22 kW AC, and some are around 7 kW or less.

EVx 2023: smart #1 makes local debut ahead of Q4 launch – come see the 66 kWh, 440 km EV at SCCC!

This Premium variant is loaded with kit and is likely to be the best seller of the range, which will have a base model and the dual-motor Brabus at the top. Everything one would expect from a range-topping premium exec is here, and perhaps more.

On the outside, you’ll find Matrix LED adaptive headlamps, front/rear sequential signals, illumination on the front grille/door handles/side logo, courtesy lights on the side mirror base, 19-inch ‘Rotor’ alloys with 235/45 tyres, a panoramic ‘halo’ roof, roof rails, auto dimming and dipping (when reversing) heated side mirrors and a powered tailgate (kick to open).

We can’t show you live pics of the interior yet due to an embargo, and the EVx showcar is blacked out, but the T-shaped cockpit with a very high centre console topped by a 12.8-inch standalone touchscreen in landscape. To its right is a slim 9.2-inch instrument cluster supplemented by a 10-inch colour head-up display (HUD), which shows all the essentials, including navigation. There’s also Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Qi wireless charging, and wait for it – a 13-speaker 640W sound system by Beats.

EVx 2023: smart #1 makes local debut ahead of Q4 launch – come see the 66 kWh, 440 km EV at SCCC!

On the comfort side of things, you’ll find leather, ventilated and powered front seats with memory, courtesy driver’s seat (moves back automatically for easier exit/entry), front passenger seat adjustment via touchscreen (for the driver), dual-zone auto air con with rear vents, N95 air con filter and a cooled centre armrest storage (piped in from AC). Of course there’s ambient lighting – you can choose from 64 colours and different top and bottom combos, Mercedes-style. There’s a full ADAS driver assist suite too, of course.

Last but not least – if an EV is to work well as a daily car – is space and practicality. The width and high roof of the #1 is apparent upon entry, and space is generous at the back, as is seat comfort. The rear bench has 130 mm of 60:40 sliding adjustment if you want to extend the boot length; capacity varies between 323 to 411 litres, or 986 litres with the rear seats folded flat (there’s also a ski hatch). Under the hood is a small 15L frunk, which might be useful for pungent food, but only small packets.

The smart #1 will be launching in Q4 this year, and the price is yet to be announced. So, what do you think of the smart #1’s package and looks, and what would be a good price this well-kitted electric SUV? More on the smart #1 and our first impressions here.

GALLERY: 2023 smart #1 Premium at EVx 2023

GALLERY: 2023 smart #1 Premium in Malaysia

GALLERY: 2023 smart #1 official images

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • ROTI CANAI on Jul 22, 2023 at 10:11 pm

    cannot be over 200k, otherwise bye bye

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • furu odc on Jul 24, 2023 at 8:25 am

      unfortunately… it is

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Angry Voters on Jul 24, 2023 at 10:41 am

      Still waiting this useless gomen promises for cheaper cars. We want quality cars at cheaper prices not kosong deathtraps like Axia E.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3
  • MASAMI on Jul 23, 2023 at 9:23 am

    This car is definitely more inferior in terms of battery tech than BYD. I would say it has to be same price or cheaper than BYD to survive.Smart cars has very bad reputation already from their old ICE models.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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