Smart #5 4×4 set to be brand’s biggest, most versatile car yet

Smart is set to enter the mid-size SUV market with the #5 – a long-range rugged 4×4 previewed by its latest concept car.

The #5 Concept has been unveiled ahead of its public debut at the Beijing Motor Show, giving a clear indication of what we can expect from the brand’s next production model, due later this year.

Once famous for its diminutive city cars, Smart has been reinvented as a purely electric brand focused on premium-leaning SUVs. Its current line-up features the smaller #1 and #3, and the #5 will sit above both of those to challenge the likes of the Volvo EX40 and BMW iX1.

While the #1 and #3 are relatively sleek designs, the #5 features a more rugged, boxy look with a raised ride height, short overhangs, skid plates and flared black wheel arches. We don’t expect the high-level light bar, integrated winch and chunky off-road tyres to appear on the production version but other details of the concept are likely to make it to production.

Smart says the #5 is based on 800V architecture and features a 100kWh+ battery. This offers a range of more than 341 miles and can be recharged from 10-80% in just 15 minutes thanks to its ultra-rapid DC capabilities.

The #5 Concept is also a four-wheel-drive model that Smart says will allow for adventure ‘even beyond paved roads’. That’s likely to mean a two-motor setup. Currently, Smart’s only four-wheel-drive option is the #1 Brabus, which produces a total of 422bhp, although it’s not clear if this is the same setup used in the #5. Like the #1 and #3, the production #5 is likely to be offered in a cheaper single-motor variant as well.

Smart #5 Concept interior
The Smart #5 interior relies heavily on touchscreens

Inside, the dashboard is dominated by two massive OLED screens – one central and one directly in front of the passenger. These appear to control every element of the car including the media, navigation and climate settings. A smaller digital instrument screen sits in front of the driver. Front seat occupants get ‘zero gravity’ seats which offer heating, cooling, massage and a leg rest for relaxing during charging stops.

Although the show car is a concept, Smart says the production version will be revealed in the second half of 2024.

Dirk Adelmann, CEO of Smart Europe, said: “For more than a quarter of a century, Smart has made a significant impact by pioneering models and mobility solutions for the urban space and beyond.

“The Smart Concept #5 is the most unexpected and versatile car that our brand has ever created. With this vehicle, we leave all boundaries behind and open up a new segment for customers in Europe and worldwide.”

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.