The concept celebrates the automaker's 20th birthday.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Smart has been making funky little cars for 20 years now, so how does it plan to celebrate that anniversary at the 2018
Paris Motor Show
? Why, by coming up with a funky little concept car, of course!
Smart today unveiled the Smart Forease concept, which will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show next week. While much of the current Smart design language is still tucked away in there but it took a different approach to the roof -- it cut the whole darn thing off. Hopefully you live somewhere where it never rains.
There are plenty of other aesthetic adjustments on the Forease concept, too. The bumpers are far more aggressive than any road-going Smart model, and the headlights look angrier thanks to a three-element design that I think would look pretty gnarly on the road. Out back, the taillights look like a pair of those infinity mirrors, and the diffuser looks like it could generate more force than the car would know what to do with.
Inside, things aren't too crazy. The steering wheel lost its top, too, looking more like a plane's yoke than a steering wheel. Since you have no choice but to accept the car's open-air nature, the climate-control vents have been removed and replaced with additional gauges. Neon green elements abound, because neon green is fun.
As with every other Smart currently on sale outside of Europe, the Forease concept is entirely electric. In fact, it's based on the production Smart EQ
, which uses a single 80-horsepower electric motor to provide an EPA-estimated 58 miles of range. Considering it lacks a roof, Smart might be able to eke a few more miles out of the Forease than the Fortwo.
The Smart Forease concept also throws it back to two other notable Smart concepts. The Smart Crossblade concept from 2002 has a pretty similar attitude to the Forease, since the roof is gone, but it took minimalism to the next level by also getting rid of the windshield and doors, the latter of which were replaced with exposed crossbars. The Smart Forspeed concept from 2011 not only previewed Smart's move to electric propulsion, it also chopped the top and lowered the windshield for a bit of that old-school speedster look.
You cannot stop the wind in the Smart Forease concept