Smart, the Daimler AG-owned manufacturer of pint-sized urban vehicles, is trying to sell America on its latest creation, a tiny convertible truck called the Smart “For-Us” pickup, now on display at the Detroit auto show.
As a concept car, the all-electric vehicle isn’t commercially available but could appear in showrooms if the company believes there’s sufficient interest.
This is a car aimed at redefining your idea of a pickup truck – it’s not only versatile but also easy to drive, easy to park and easy on the environment.
It’s designed for the American market, but the Smart “For-Us” concept vehicle doesn’t look anything like the pickups Americans are used to.
The all-electric Smart is small enough to fit into the bed of a traditional pickup truck, but large enough to fit two adults and haul a couple of electric bicycles.
Terry Wei, Smart spokesperson, explains:
“This is actually the 21st century answer to an urban pickup and so this vehicle is really fantastic for urban driving, for urban congestion. As you can see, it’s smaller than a typical pickup that you would think of, so it’s really easy for parking and it’s also electric so you no longer have to worry about fueling up.”
The car has a top speed of 75 miles per hour and a range of about 85 miles on one charge.
Opinions were mixed but the car certainly turned some heads.
A visitor commented that “it’s a sleek looking car. Very modern. I think it’s an interesting design, the colors definitely give it a more sporty look.”
Another noted, however, that the “electric car is nice but still, this is too small to drive on a big, very busy road.”
The Smart “For-Us” is a slightly larger version of its older brother, the Smart “Fortwo,” which has struggled to sell in the United States.
And that may ultimately be a roadblock for the new Smart pickup, because drivers in the United States have always preferred their trucks big.