smart #3 debuts in Malaysia – Pro, Premium, Brabus; up to 455 km range, 0-100 in 3.7s; open for booking

smart #3 debuts in Malaysia – Pro, Premium, Brabus; up to 455 km range, 0-100 in 3.7s; open for booking

Here we go again, the smart #3. This time, we can show you the new EV in full as the media preview embargo lifts in conjunction with the car’s public debut and opening of order books at the Malaysia Autoshow 2024, which opens for the press today at MAEPS.

We gave you a briefing on the the smart #3 last week, but here are the full specs and galleries for all three variants of the EV – Pro, Premium and Brabus. It looks very different, but the #3 is a sister to the smart #1, the first model of the reborn brand (now co-owned by Geely and Mercedes-Benz, with the latter in charge of design), which now exclusively sells EVs.

Like the #1, the #3 sits on the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform, which also underpins EVs under the Geely umbrella like the Zeekr X and Volvo EX30. At 4,400 mm long and 1,844 mm wide, the #3’s footprint is 130 mm longer and 22 mm wider than the #1, but it’s not all extra overhangs, as the 2,785 mm wheelbase is 35 mm longer than the #1’s.

smart #3 debuts in Malaysia – Pro, Premium, Brabus; up to 455 km range, 0-100 in 3.7s; open for booking

But the most obvious stat is the #3’s lower roof – 1,556 mm is a substantial 80 mm less than the #1’s height, and the #3’s low and curved roofline defines the coupe SUV bodystyle (smart calls it ‘coupe fastback’). We’re familiar with SUV offshoots like the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe and BMW X4, but to these eyes, the #3 shape looks better as it’s much less tall – they very clearly didn’t just take a normal SUV and shave an angle off the back of the roof.

Emphasising that near-perfect curve of a roof (broken up by a small spoiler) is a small bridge connecting the daylight opening and the rear glass – this also creates the now de rigueur floating roof effect. smart says that the #3’s design ‘articulates muscle at no loss to sensibility and elegance’.

smart’s marketing collateral comes on strong with the Mercedes-Benz connection, but if you’re familiar with today’s Mercs, the ‘Styled by Mercedes-Benz’ bit is obvious, even more so here than on the #1. IMO, if Stuttgart’s own EQ SUVs were more fun and daring, they’d look like smart cars!

smart #3 debuts in Malaysia – Pro, Premium, Brabus; up to 455 km range, 0-100 in 3.7s; open for booking

Full-width LEDs at both ends aren’t super unique these days, but flush door handles, frameless windows and an illuminated logo – all of which are also on the #1 – are premium/surprising design highlights. The latter has moved from the #1’s rear pillar to the #’3 front wing. The boot release button is neatly hidden into the ‘a’ of the logo, and there are smart logos as welcome lights.

By the way, the #3 looks more aerodynamic than the #1 and it actually is more slippery – Cd is 0.27 versus 0.29 for the taller car. Which brings us to slight gains in range and acceleration.

Variants and powertrains mirror the #1. The Pro and Premium have a rear-mounted electric motor producing 272 PS (200 kW) and 343 Nm of torque, good for a 0-100 km/h time of 5.8 seconds. Top speed is capped at 180 km/h. The Brabus adds on a front motor to make it AWD, and the setup offers 428 PS (315 kW) and 543 Nm – this reduces the 0-100 km/h sprint time down to 3.7 seconds, a tenth quicker than the #1 Brabus. There’s a ‘Rocket’ launch mode.

In the base Pro’s floorpan is a 49 kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery, good for a quoted WLTP range of 325 km, 10 km more than the equivalent #1. Both the Premium and Brabus get a 66 kWh nickel cobalt manganese (NMC) battery, which provides 455 km of claimed range for the Premium and up to 415 km for the dual-motor Brabus. Both WLTP range figures are 15 km more than the corresponding #1.

Charging is a smart trump card. There’s always plenty of focus on DC fast charging, but an EV’s primary source of juice is AC, and the #1 stands out in the field with a 22 kW AC onboard charger. For context, Chinese EVs typically max out at 7 kW, while premium brand EVs like the Mercedes-Benz EQA and BMW iX1 suck 11 kW, as per all Tesla and Hyundai EVs.

With 22 kW AC and a compatible source, 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, your smart is replenished, all without paying DC rates. While EVs are typically left to charge overnight, the smart’s high AC rate gives owners more flexibility, including the option to pick AC over DC when on the move.

smart #3 debuts in Malaysia – Pro, Premium, Brabus; up to 455 km range, 0-100 in 3.7s; open for booking

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, so the smart’s charging game is strong. As for DC, 150 kW is nearly double the rate of the EV SUVs from BYD and Chery, and beats the EQA (100 kW) and iX1 (130 kW). smart claims 10-80% SoC in 30 minutes.

However, these stats are for the Premium and Brabus – the Pro does 7.4 kW AC/130 kW DC. By the way, the #3 gets an extra, milder level of energy regeneration for those who want a smoother drive with less ‘engine braking’ feel.

On the topic of charging, smart’s navigation function has charger locations from the top CPOs in Malaysia, covering 70% of charge points in the country. This is also found in the Hello smart app, which you can use to pay for charging via debit/credit card, keeping everything in-house.

We move on to the #3’s interior, which at is glance is identical to that of the #1. But look closely and you’ll find that the #1’s pill shaped centre AC vents have been swapped for three circular vents, which doubles down on the Mercedes-Benz feel. The front seats are completely different from the pair in the #1 – the integrated headrests are prominent, there’s a smart logo on the backs, there’s more support, and you’ll find little rivets on the surface.

Other differences include grooves on the lid of the glove box cubby, and the lack of a blind (electric on the #1) for the panoramic ‘halo’ glass roof, which smart says has a hollow silver coating that blocks 99% of UV rays and improves heat insulation efficiency. Whether this is strong enough for our climate remains to be seen; a manual clip-on sunshade exists, although we’re not certain if this accessory will be made available.

Two ‘cute’ details on the #1 have been swapped for ‘sportier’ items – the gloss white trim in the non-Brabus #1 is now a gunmetal-like grey, and the fox that lives in the UI is now a cheetah. These, plus the turbine-style AC vents make the #3’s cabin more universal in appeal.

The equipment list for the variants mirror that of the #1. The entry-level Pro gets a panoramic glass roof, ‘CyberSpark’ LED headlamps, a 12.8-inch central screen, 9.2-inch instrument cluster, powered front seats with heating, single-zone climate control, electric flush door handles, powered tailgate and 19-inch ‘Flux’ wheels with 245/45 tyres.

The Premium adds on niceties like adaptive highbeam assist for the LED headlamps, a 10-inch head-up display, a thumping 13-speaker Beats sound system, Automatic Parking Assistant (APA), a kick sensor for the auto tailgate, ambient lighting and distinctive ‘Torque’ rims in the same 19-inch size as the Pro.

Pro buyers get to choose between Digital White and Meta Black. The white is also available for the Premium, but you’ll also get to oft for interesting tones such as Ceramic Cream, Future Green, Electron Blue (matte), Cyber Silver and Quantum Blue. The interior can be had in black, grey or brown.

The high-performance Brabus model is the Photon Orange car you see here, and it adds on 20-inch ‘Synchro’ wheels (245/40 tyres) with red brake calipers, a slightly more prominent rear spoiler, Brabus badging around the lower body, a slit above the front smart logo, aluminium sports pedals, microfibre suede seats with red seatbelts, Alcantara wrap on the steering wheel (illuminated Brabus logo instead of smart), two B logos on the headrests (front and back) and black headlining for an all-black cabin.

If the Brabus’ signature orange is too loud for you, have it in matte Atom Grey (red roof optional), Meta Black (red roof) or Digital White (black roof). Last but definitely not least is the (passive) sport suspension with a more dynamic tune.

As mentioned, the smart #3 is now open for booking and the first 333 customers who put their name down along with a refundable RM1,000 booking fee will receive smart official merchandise worth up to RM1,500. Price? Expect the #3 to be slightly pricier than the #1, which by the way gets a new and lowered RRP of RM169k for the Pro (RM20k less) and RM209k for the Premium (RM10k less). So, what do you think of the #3’s looks and package? For more, read our first impressions of the #3 and review of the #1, which we think is a good EV landing point for those coming from premium ICE cars.

GALLERY: smart #3 Brabus

GALLERY: smart #3 Premium

GALLERY: smart #3 Pro

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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.

 

Comments

  • ThePolygon on May 21, 2024 at 11:31 am

    I actually hope they launched this with better updated LFP batteries but alas it remains a dream. I do hope they update the batteries in line with current tech on any future updates with this model, maybe facelifted version in the future. I think they should just start to put aside NCM for any future launches.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • Dah Menang Semua on May 23, 2024 at 8:49 am

      Good if they allow to change
      The avatar on-screen bored
      Seeing Leopard, Fox etc.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • ROTI CANAI on May 21, 2024 at 8:13 pm

    They better not be mabuk

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Komen alternatif on May 21, 2024 at 9:06 pm

    Expensive!!!!!!! #3 premium wd cost more say rm 218k. Sure kena luxury tax.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
 

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