smart #3 EV launched in Malaysia – Pro, Premium and Brabus; 0-100 in 3.7s, 455 km range; from RM175k

smart #3 EV launched in Malaysia – Pro, Premium and Brabus; 0-100 in 3.7s, 455 km range; from RM175k

Finally, the smart #3 is now officially launched in Malaysia. After Pro-Net’s now customary media preview-embargo-public debut sequence – which saw us bring you an initial preview with first impressions, the full reveal of the car in conjunction with the public debut, and pre-launch announcement – the wraps have come off the EV at Pavilion Bukit Jalil, where it will be on display till this Sunday. The next stop is EVx by paultan.org next weekend at Setia City Convention Centre.

Before we dive into the details and specs, the smart #3 is the ‘coupe SUV’ sister of the #1, the first model of the reborn smart brand (now co-owned by Geely and Mercedes-Benz, with the latter in charge of design) and Pro-Net’s first baby. Like the #1, three variants are available – the RM175,000 Pro, the RM215,000 Premium and range-topping Brabus, which is yours for RM255,000. These are on-the-road without insurance prices, and they’re RM6,000 higher than the corresponding #1 trim level.

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, both of which will be coming to Malaysia. 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. Nice proportions as a result.

smart #3 EV launched in Malaysia – Pro, Premium and Brabus; 0-100 in 3.7s, 455 km range; from RM175k

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 EV launched in Malaysia – Pro, Premium and Brabus; 0-100 in 3.7s, 455 km range; from RM175k

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 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 self-explanatory ‘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 (Premium and Brabus only, 7 kW for Pro). 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 EV launched in Malaysia – Pro, Premium and Brabus; 0-100 in 3.7s, 455 km range; from RM175k

Of the EVs currently sold in Malaysia, only the ’55 quattro’ variants of the Audi Q8 e-tron/e-tron GT, Porsche Taycan, BMW i5 and iX and Renault Zoe 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 80% of charge points in the country (was 70%, DC Handal and Carput Zap are the latest CPO additions). 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, but a manual clip-on sunshade will be given as part of a free accessories package.

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. If the #1 was too cute for you, how about this?

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. In total, there are 12 colour combinations, smart says.

Once again, the smart #3 is priced at RM175,000 for the base Pro, RM215,000 for the Premium and RM255,000 for the full-fat Brabus. These prices are RM6,000 more than the equivalent #1 trim levels, in exchange for a sleeker body, slightly better range from the improved aerodynamics and a sportier cabin.

smart #3 EV launched in Malaysia – Pro, Premium and Brabus; 0-100 in 3.7s, 455 km range; from RM175k

The warranty is eight years or 200,000 km for the battery (150,000 km for EV components) and four years unlimited warranty for the vehicle. The package also includes a complimentary smartCharge home charger worth RM3,200 (with two-year warranty), complimentary accessories package with six items worth RM2,500, V2L adaptor worth RM800 and free five-year internet data of 60GB.

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.

smart #3 Pro – RM175,000

  • Electric motor output: 272 PS (200 kW) and 343 Nm; RWD
  • 0-100 km/h time: 5.8 seconds
  • Top speed: 180 km/h
  • Battery: 49 kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP)
  • Range (WLTP): 325 km
  • AC charging: 7.4 kW
  • DC charging: 130 kW

smart #3 Premium – RM215,000

  • Electric motor output: 272 PS (200 kW) and 343 Nm; RWD
  • 0-100 km/h time: 5.8 seconds
  • Top speed: 180 km/h
  • Battery: 66 kWh nickel manganese cobalt (NMC)
  • Range (WLTP): 455 km
  • AC charging: 22 kW; 10-80% SoC in three hours
  • DC charging: 150 kW; 10-80% SoC in 30 minutes

smart #3 Brabus – RM255,000

  • Electric motor output: 428 PS (315 kW) and 543 Nm; AWD
  • 0-100 km/h time: 3.7 seconds
  • Top speed: 180 km/h
  • Battery: 66 kWh nickel manganese cobalt (NMC)
  • Range (WLTP): 415 km
  • AC charging: 22 kW; 10-80% SoC in three hours
  • DC charging: 150 kW; 10-80% SoC in 30 minutes

GALLERY: smart #3 launch

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.

 

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