A fully-engineered design study by smart, the one-off escooter clearly has a production offspring in its future as the eco-friendly brand continues its move to diversify as a provider of next-gen personal transport with a special emphasis on reaching out to younger and more tech-savvy buyers. Beyond its zero emission capability, the diminutive escooter also introduces a host of new technology, including an airbag, anti-lock brakes and Blind Spot Assist.
In presenting the vehicle, Dr. Annette Winkler, head of smart, noted that the escooter reflects the organization's unique take the subject of urban mobility. "This pragmatic approach, combined with smart's typical fun factor, is what makes smart so special. We perceive mobility as a combination of responsibility and emotion -- and our smart escooter accommodates this request in every respect."
The smart escooter is fitted with a 5.4-horsepower electric wheel-hub motor/generator in its rear wheel matched with a lithium-ion battery that allows this urborunner reach a top speed of 28 mph and travel up to 62 miles on a single charge. In addition to on-the-fly replenishment using regenerative braking and an array of solar cells on the escooter's front fairing, the battery can be conventionally recharged in three to five hours using a standard home power outlet via a charging socket concealed under the smart emblem.
Like the smart fortwo, the new escooter uses its own dedicated version of the smart drive app that allows a smartphone placed into a dedicated cradle on the dash to function as the comprehensive as communication/information center providing readouts for speed, range, charge level, navigation, as well a for audio functions and more. Other clever creature features include a flip-up second seat that's coupled with auto-deploying secondary footrests, remotely heatable handlebars and lockable internal stow space for a pair of helmets.
Constructed using interchangeable plastic body panels over a steel/aluminum framework, the escooter is fitted with 13-inch wheels and energy-efficient LED front/rear lighting. Reflecting its kinship with Mercedes-Benz, this two-wheeled smart also sets new benchmarks for overall scooter safety. Its single airbag is located under a panel beneath the handlebars while the Blind Spot Assist functions as it does on all Mercedes, by illuminating a small flashing triangle in the side mirrors. The escooter's anti-lock brakes are particularly notable. Specifically designed for this application, they feature a conventional disc and sensor up front but use the hub motor, which is fully integrated into the ABS system, to deliver perfectly matched but electrically-based stopping power to the rear wheel.