Forget practicality. smart’s forease+ concept is designed to remind that electric cars can be fun

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
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The smart brand will go completely electric in 2020, which will make it the first carmaker to switch entirely from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric.

In order to highlight that shift, smart (yes, the brand prefers its name not start with a capital letter) has created a concept car called the forease+. With it, smart aims to prove that the electric future doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it contends that it can be fun.

A Smart Spider

Going all electric seems like an obvious more for smart, the company made famous for redefining the urban car in the modern era.(smart)
 

Based upon the smart EQ fortwo cabrio, the forease+ is what other German brands might call a “Spider.” That’s because it has a removable roof made from cloth, open rear end, ducktail spoiler, and shortened windshield. These elements are intended to further underscore the car’s ‘pure driving experience.’ As such, these design features are typically reserved for sports cars and supercars.

Sloughing off tradition, smart’s designers dubbed this skimpy amber-colored Spider-y roof “#rooflove.” And, no, the press release doesn’t explain what that means. Your guess is as good as any.

The amber cloth roof color was chosen to contrast the body’s matte ‘soft coal’ paint scheme.

Pleasure Over Practicality

The designers have dubbed the convertible top, #rooflove. No seriously, with the hashtag and all. That says a lot about not just the car, but the company as well. (smart)
 

Despite its diminutive cloth roof, smart states that forease+ is suitable year round. Though, with that open rear, that seems hard to fathom outside a super-arid climate like that, say, of Portugal.

Forsake practicality. smart really just wants people to know that this car will be pleasurable to drive.

OK maybe smart isn’t totally ready to completely jettison practicality. Accordingly, the aerodynamic eco wheels of the forease+ are designed to remind onlookers of the brand’s all-electric future.

The headlights are composed of three LED elements on either side—not covered in glass. This is intended to give the forease+ a distinctive and sporty lighting signature depending on where the onlooker is positioned relative to the car.

Right. So, if you’re keeping tabs at home, smart is going electric and this car is fun to drive. Got it? Good.

It’s What’s Inside That Counts

The interior of the forease+ might be even more interesting than the exterior. While the rest of the industry has gone overboard with flat-bottom steering wheels, smart has gone next level with a no-top-at-all steering wheel. (smart)
 

Now, let’s look on the interior. This is perhaps the wildest part of the car.

The steering wheel has been cut into an airplane-like yoke. The dash has been wrapped in amber-colored Nappa leather, which mimics the skimpy #rooflove.

Two digital display pods on the top center of the dash display a message on the right of a vehicle sharing opportunity and a picture of the woman looking to borrow the forease+ (presumably) on the left.

For as neat as the forease+ is to look at, the chances are—like the #rooflove—slim such a car will make it into production.

Instead, this car is most likely just a design experiment crafted to remind the public that A.) smart is going electric next year. And B.) An electric future can be fun.

Got it?


About the Author

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
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