Concept Cars

Smart Forease concept chops its top for Paris

The concept celebrates the automaker's 20th birthday.

Smart

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.

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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.

That wheel fitment doesn't look it offers much in the way of suspension travel, but such is the life of a concept car, even one that's theoretically road-legal.

Mercedes-Benz

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 Fortwo, 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.

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