smart #3

  • 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

     
     
  • smart #3 launching in Malaysia on July 10 – open for booking; three variants; up to 428 PS, 455 km EV range

    smart #3 launching in Malaysia on July 10 – open for booking; three variants; up to 428 PS, 455 km EV range

    The smart #3 is set to go on sale in Malaysia in just a few days’ time, with smart Malaysia counting down to the electric vehicle’s launch on July 10, 2024. The #3 will join the #1 in the brand’s local line-up and will mirror the latter’s variant line-up, which includes the Pro, Premium and Brabus.

    Built on the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), the #3 is the sister car to the #1 but with a different exterior design. With its low and curved roofline, the #3 is more of a coupe-like SUV (smart calls it a ‘coupe fastback’), which should appeal to those who aren’t a fan of the #1’s shape.

    The dimensions are slightly different too, with the #3 measuring in at 4,400 mm long and 1,844 mm wide, which is 130 mm longer and 22 mm wider than the #1. The wheelbase is also longer by 35 mm at 2,785 mm.

    In terms of powertrains, the specifications of each variant are as follows:

    Pro

    • Electric motor output: 272 PS (268 hp or 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

    Premium

    • Electric motor output: 272 PS (268 hp or 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

    Brabus

    • Electric motor output: 428 PS (422 hp or 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

    As for equipment, we’ve detailed what each variant gets in our preview of the #3 posted in May. Highlights include a 9.2-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.8-inch central infotainment touchscreen, a panoramic glass roof, ‘CyberSpark’ LED headlamps, a 10-inch head-up display, ambient lighting and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

    The #3 is currently open for booking in Malaysia 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.

    No word on pricing for now, but the #3 is expected to cost a little more than the #1, which itself got a price cut in the same month the former was previewed to the media. Are you looking forward to the #3’s launch? Would you choose this over the #1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

    GALLERY: smart #3 Brabus

    GALLERY: smart #3 Premium

    GALLERY: smart #3 Pro

     
     
  • 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

     
     
  • 2024 smart #3 previewed ahead of May 21 debut – first drive impressions of EV coupe SUV, better than #1?

    2024 smart #3 previewed ahead of May 21 debut – first drive impressions of EV coupe SUV, better than #1?

    3…2…1…Action! The smart #3 is the brand’s 2nd model in Malaysia after the #1, and the EV’s official debut is just around the corner now – specifically next week at the Malaysia Autoshow. Pro-Net had a media preview last week, where we got to touch, feel and drive the #3 at Proton’s semi-high-speed test track in Shah Alam.

    We’ve covered the #3 since its world debut in April 2023, but here’s a recap. 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.

    The #3 sits on the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform, which also underpins the #1 and a couple of other 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. It’s not all extra overhangs though, as the 2,785 mm wheelbase is 35 mm longer than the #1’s. 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.

    2024 smart #3 previewed ahead of May 21 debut – first drive impressions of EV coupe SUV, better than #1?

    The latter is very prominent as the #3’s low and curved roofline defines the coupe SUV bodystyle. 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 didn’t just take a normal SUV and shave the rear roof off.

    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 floating roof effect. It’s not clear here with the camouflage, which will be off the next time we’re allowed to show you the #3. Then, you’ll also get to see full-width LEDs at both ends, as seen on the #1, and a Mercedes-Benz look that’s even more distinct here. If Stuttgart’s own EQ SUVs were more fun and daring, they’d look like smart cars.

    Other premium and/or surprising design highlights include flush door handles, frameless windows and an illuminated logo, all of which are also on the #1. The latter has moved from the rear pillar to the front wing, though. 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 – Cd is 0.27 versus 0.29 for the taller car.

    2024 smart #3 previewed ahead of May 21 debut – first drive impressions of EV coupe SUV, better than #1?

    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.

    As for what’s in the floorpan, the base Pro comes with a 49 kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery and the quoted WLTP range is 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. That’s aero in action.

    Along with its more athletic shape, the #3 is billed as the more dynamic sister to the #1, and Pro-Net brought us back to Proton’s Shah Alam test track (they also did the #1 preview drive here) to prove its claims.

    In our recent review of the #1, we found the Geely-Mercedes EV to be a good landing point for those coming from premium ICE cars, as it goes around with a bit more heft in the controls and ride compared to typical Chinese EVs, which some might call ‘Continental feel’.

    While ‘Conti’ is a positive connotation, some European premium brand EVs have a ride that’s too busy, which is at odds with the smooth and serene experience that EVs provide.

    The #1 strikes a decent balance between comfort and dynamics, and while we need to drive the #3 in the real world to confirm the ride quality and NVH, the same should apply. What’s for sure is that the #3’s body has less pitch and dip in hard acceleration and braking, and body roll has been further tamed, giving this smart a more ground-hugging, stable feel. We said that the #1 has more than enough handling and grip for EV buyers – the #3 improves on this count.

    Most EVs are more than fast enough, and that includes the single-motor #3. Unfortunately we started off with the Brabus and a banked oval, which made the subsequent run in the 5.8-second Premium you see here properly pedestrian. Without the distortion of the pinned-into-your-seat force and fake big V8 sound of the Brabus (I managed to reach the 180 km/h top speed), the Premium is a brisk EV.

    A point we noted in our review of the #1 was the rather excessive energy regeneration even in its mildest setting, which might take some new EV converts by surprise. While regen is a vital part of EV driving, we wanted a longer leash, so to speak, as an option for the times when you’re feeling rich with range and want to glide. The #3 gets that option.

    A note on the fancy-looking front seats, which probably don’t provide as much support as the looks suggest, but are still an improvement over the rather flat ones in the #1. No magic in the rear quarters – the reduction in headroom from the #1 corresponds with the exterior roofline.

    We want to tell you more, and definitely want to show you more, but are bound by an embargo set by Pro-Net. So stay tuned for the public debut next week, which will come with more specs and details. For now, check out our review of the #1 and imagine a it with a less quirky/more universal bodystyle, an extra dash of Mercedes sauce and tighter body control. smart specialties – 22 kW AC charging (150 kW DC also beats BMW iX1, Mercedes EQA) and the locally-developed Hello smart app – remain.

    No word on pricing yet, but expect the #3 to be slightly more expensive than the #1, which is priced at RM189,000 for the Pro, RM219,000 for the Premium and RM249,000 for the dual-motor Brabus.

    GALLERY: smart #3 previewed in Malaysia

    GALLERY: smart #3 official images

     
     
  • smart #3 EV SUV previewed at KL Car Free Morning

    smart #3 EV SUV previewed at KL Car Free Morning

    It looks like smart Malaysia (Pro-Net) may be gearing up to launch the second product in its line-up. The smart #3, which is a larger sibling to the smart #1 was previewed at the KL Car Free Morning earlier today at Dataran DBKL as part of World Earth Day celebrations.

    The smart #3 is the second model to come from the smart Automobile joint venture between Geely and Mercedes-Benz, and the EV was first revealed at last year’s Auto Shanghai.

    smart #3 EV SUV previewed at KL Car Free Morning

    Larger in size than the smart #1, the smart #3 is built on the same Geely Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform and offers up to 440 km of range following the WLTP standard.

    Equipped with a 66-kWh nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) battery, the smart #3 is available with a rear-mounted electric motor rated at 272 PS (268 hp or 200 kW) or a dual-motor, all-wheel drive setup packing 428 PS (422 hp or 315 kW) – the latter is badged as a smart #3 Brabus.

    If you want something bigger than the smart #1 but you like smart’s current styling, this might be the electric SUV for you! Stay tuned for more details.

     
     
  • 2024 smart #1 and #3 up to RM18k cheaper in China as price war mounts – now starts from RM103k

    2024 smart #1 and #3 up to RM18k cheaper in China as price war mounts – now starts from RM103k

    Yet another Chinese carmaker has fallen victim to the ongoing electric vehicle price war, and the latest one is smart. The joint venture between Geely and Mercedes-Benz has slashed prices of its #1 and #3 SUVs to better compete with the likes of BYD and Tesla, which have also engaged in the race to the bottom.

    Prices for the #1 now start at 154,900 yuan (RM102,600) for the Standard model (previously Pure+), rising up to 174,900 yuan (RM115,800) for the Long Range (previously Pro+) and 199,900 yuan (RM132,300) for the Deluxe model (previously Premium+). That’s a saving of between 21,700 (RM14,400) and 26,700 yuan (RM17,700) from when the car was launched in 2022. The Pure+ had already received a price drop to 179,900 yuan (RM119,100) in January when it was renamed the Pro.

    Meanwhile, the #3 range has been reconfigured and now features a shorter-range Standard base model at 164,900 yuan (RM109,200). This takes over from the 209,900 yuan (RM139,000) long-range Pro+, which has been renamed the Dynamic Long Range and is now priced at 184,900 yuan (RM122,400).

    The Dynamic AWD model is the new undisputed flagship but still manages to be 20,000 yuan (RM13,200) cheaper than outgoing mid-tier Pulse+ AWD, costing 219,900 yuan (RM145,600). No word on any changes to the Brabus models, which still retail at 284,900 yuan (RM188,600) for the #1 and 289,900 yuan (RM191,900) for the #3.

    2024 smart #1 and #3 up to RM18k cheaper in China as price war mounts – now starts from RM103k

    Mechanically, the #1 and #3 are identical to before, powered by a single rear motor that produces 272 PS (200 kW) and 343 Nm of torque. This gets the #1 from zero to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds, while the #3 is somehow much quicker – it takes nearly a second out of the century sprint, which it completes in 5.8 seconds (5.4 seconds for the Dynamic Long Range, for some reason).

    The sole outlier is the #3 Dynamic AWD that gets a second front motor, churning out 156 PS (115 kW) and 200 Nm. Combined outputs are identical to the Brabus at 428 PS (315 kW) and 543 Nm, yet despite this, it needs seven more tenths of a second to get to 100 km/h, taking 4.3 seconds.

    As ever, there are two battery sizes available. The smallest 49 kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery provides a range of 400 km on the #1 Standard and 415 km on the #3 Standard; both figures are on China’s lenient CLTC cycle. There’s also a 66 kWh nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery that delivers a range of 535 km on the #1 Long Range and Deluxe, 555 km on the #3 Dynamic Long Range and 520 km on the Dynamic AWD.

    2024 smart #1 and #3 up to RM18k cheaper in China as price war mounts – now starts from RM103k

    Charging the #1 and #3 from 10 to 80% takes less than 30 minutes using a 150 kW DC fast charger. In China, a 7.2 kW onboard charger comes standard, so bringing the battery charge to the same percentage takes under five and a half hours with the 49 kWh unit and seven and a half hours with the 66 kWh version.

    The company says the restructuring of the #1 and #3 lineup optimises the variants to better meet the needs of actual buyers. To that end, smart has taken out some features such as seat and steering wheel heating, repackaging them as cost options and packages. The carmaker is also offering promotions such as discounts, flexi-purchase deals and low interest rates until May 31.

    In Malaysia, the smart #1 has been on sale since November, priced at RM189,000 for the Pro, RM219,000 for the long-range Premium and RM249,000 for the Brabus. Might we see a similar price cut here in the future?


    GALLERY: smart #1 Premium in Malaysia