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Smart For-Us concept unveiled at 2012 Detroit show

Published: 10 January 2012

Smart made a splash with its world debut at the 2012 Detroit auto show: its For-Us concept car provides a vision of the Smart as an American icon, a pick-up.

The diminutive truck - just 3547mm long - is longer than a Fortwo, and is supposed to be based on the running gear of the next-gen Smart Forfour, aka the new Renault Twingo.

So if the For-Us doesn't look so much like a Smart any more, from the front at least, that's why. A new front-engined architecture is said to underpin this baby pick-up.

Smart For-Us: the lowdown

Calling it front-engined is a bit of a misnomer; the For-Us is electric, and the 55kW electric motor is claimed to provide decent acceleration.

Smart quotes a top speed of around 75mph; battery capacity is put at 17.6kWh. It's the same running gear you'll find in the Smart Fortwo ED coming in spring 2012.

This remains a two-seater, the loadbay where you'd find a petrol engine in the regular Fortwo given over to a flatbed.

This Smart concept car packs a pair of electric scooters in to the loadbay; they dock to the car, allowing the two-wheelers to be charged up and ready to use when you reach the part of the city that even a Smart can't reach.

After a long, long period of very little new-model activity, Smart is finally about to start a product offensive. While no pick-up truck is in train quite yet, the cooperation with Renault will soon produce a new Forfour and the Fortwo is in line for further development too.

If downsizing is as rife as it appears, it's a good time to offer more small cars.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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