Smart, the brand known primarily for its functionality and rationality, is embracing its personality through design. The Forease concept car—just-announced at the Paris Motor Show—is decreasing the distance between the vehicle and the world around it. For starters, the Forease operates on an entirely electric powertrain. Its abbreviated windshield and roofless cabin invite the environment in, and the yellow is a nod to the original smart concept 20 years ago. Though German-designed, it’s manufactured in France, so there’s something particularly rewarding about seeing a new concept during the biannual French show.
“For us, it’s liberating. Smart has always been radical, inventing our own kind of transportation in a way,” notes Kai Sieber, Director of Design Brands and Operations at Mercedes-Benz, who—along with his team—designs all Smart cars. “But often, what we get is feedback that it’s really environmentally friendly, it’s really functional, it’s really easy to find a parking space—but really what we want to show and want to always bring up is that it’s simply cool looking. It’s really emotional.”
“Smart is not only a rational car, but it wants to talk to your heart too, not just your brain,” Seiber continues. The vehicle is authentic to its missions—to provide urban mobility, to operate consciously and to be a bit of a breath of fresh air (quite literally when you’re in the new Forease concept).
Though it’s likely we won’t see the Forease in production anytime soon the concept does reveal several traits and design cues that we are likely to see in upcoming models. Emotionally driven design may be on the rise at Smart, and we’re looking forward to seeing it come to life.
Images courtesy of Mercedes Benz