smart forfour silently abandoned, SUV replacement coming soon
Founded in 1994 by Daimler AG in collaboration with Swatch, smart launched the fortwo microcar in 1998 with great critical success. A sporty roadster option followed in 2002, then the forfour launched in 2004.
Fast forward to 2022, and smart is just a shadow of itself. The online configurator currently lists two models, the fortwo and the fortwo cabrio with all-electric drive EQ. The company has phased out combustion-engined vehicles due to very low demand, and the EQ line is not selling particularly well either due to growing demand for crossovers.
Unfortunately, the smart brand could not help but discreetly abandon the forfour in preparation for the yet to be named utility vehicle developed in collaboration with Geely. Known internally as the W453, the forfour was manufactured at the Renault-owned Revoz manufacturing plant in Novo Mesto, Slovenia.
Released gradually in December 2021 according to electrive.com, the all-electric smart EQ forfour was launched in 2017 to lukewarm reception. In addition to a pretty steep starting price, the zero-emission city dweller was just too expensive for most people in the market for a daily driver focused on city trips.
The 60-kW electric motor and 17.6-kWh The battery wasn’t particularly good either, especially compared to slightly larger alternatives that include the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf. Frankly, I couldn’t understand the viability of this car since it was presented in the guise of the Vision EQ fortwo concept at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show 2017.
As for the indirect successor, the still unnamed utility vehicle will premiere this year for the 2023 model year. Previewed by Concept # 1 in September 2021, the all-new model is based on an all-new platform dubbed SEA ( make that Sustainable Experience Architecture).
Zhejiang Geely Holding group intends to roll out SEA across nine brands, including Volvo. The first model based on this platform is the Zeekr 001 shooting brake, which entered production in China in October 2021.