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Smart ForStars concept is an electric SUC (pictures)

The latest Sports Utility Coupe concept from Smart features an electric drive train, funky styling, and a feature that makes it a rolling drive-in theater.

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Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 19 Daimler/Smart

SUC is a poorly chosen acronym

Smart's press release categorizes the ForStars concept as a Sports Utility Coupe (or SUC, for short). Let's just hope that it doesn't SUC as badly as the poorly reviewed Smart ForTwo.
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2 of 19 Daimler/Smart

LCD projector

Let's jump right into the ForStars' most interesting feature: the LCD projector that's located in what at first appears to be a hood scoop. When parked, a plastic visor can be retracted to expose the projector's lens.
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3 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Instant drive-in theater

Drivers are able to project movies or other video onto a nearby wall while parked. Loudspeakers in the door share the accompanying audio with nearby viewers. It's like a having a drive-in theater wherever you go.
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4 of 19 Daimler/Smart

iPhone controller

The projector is controlled via Bluetooth with an iPhone. This is something you can only do with a concept car -- to the best of my knowledge, neither iOS nor Bluetooth allows HD video streaming.
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5 of 19 Daimler/Smart

The Smart remixed

The ForStars' glass roof lets passengers literally see the stars. Outside of the projector gimmick and the glass roof, the ForStars is a remix of elements we've seen on previous Smart concepts and production cars.
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6 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Bold face

Starting with a body that's based on the Smart for-us concept that debuted at the Detroit Motor Show, the ForStars gives us a fairly good idea of what the automaker's next corporate face will look like.
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7 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Tridion safety cell

Like all Smart models, the ForStars features contrasting paint that highlights its tridion safety cell, a rigid hoop of metal that protects passengers in the event of a collision.
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8 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Simple dashboard

The Smart ForTwo features one of the most minimal cabins on the road today. The ForStars ups the aesthetic ante with glossy paint all over, but doesn't really add much in the way of dashboard technology.
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9 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Two-seater

The ForStars features a longer wheelbase and a wider track than the ForTwo, but it still only has seating space for two.
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10 of 19 Daimler/Smart

U-shaped steering wheel

The U-shaped steering wheel looks cool on a concept, but I can't imagine that it's good for real-world driving. Fortunately, such a feature will likely not see production.
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11 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Gauges

Metallic gauges with inset LCDs are a step up from the ForTwo's simplistic plastic dials.
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12 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Shifter

Being electric, the ForStars likely only uses one forward gear, so it doesn't need a complex shifter. A simple PRND lever will suffice.
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13 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Rear storage

Much of the ForStars' increased footprint is reflected in the increased rear storage area.
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14 of 19 Daimler/Smart

All-electric drive

The Smart ForStars uses the same 60 kW electric motor from the Smart Brabus electric drive to spin its rear wheels.
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15 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Electric torque

With about 99 pound-feet of zero-lag torque and a top speed of about 80 mph, the ForStars is no mere shiny golf cart. It's no sports car either, despite its mid-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration.
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16 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Lithium-ion battery

The estimated single-charge range from the 17.6 kWh lithium-ion battery hasn't been specified.
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17 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Wheels and tires

The smart ForStars rolls on 21-inch wheels wrapped in 245-width, ZR-rated Michelin sports tires. That's probably overkill for a car that outputs less than 100 pound-feet of torque, but it sure looks nice.
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18 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Quirky appearance

I'm seeing a bit of visual similarity to Hyundai's quirky Veloster in the Smart ForStars' rear-quarter view.
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19 of 19 Daimler/Smart

Paris Motor Show debut

We'll see more of the ForStars when the Smart concept debuts at the 2012 Paris Motor Show later this month.

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