Fresh from its win in last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge
, Smart has unveiled a funky electric urban pickup concept at this week’s 2012 Detroit Auto Show.
Yes, this tiny concept car is an open-top pickup complete with a sturdy tray, which Smart claims is ideal for holding a pair of bikes or whatever else the vehicle’s two passengers may wish to carry--along as it’s small.
The electric drive of the For-Us Concept is based on the electric drivetrain that will feature in the latest-generation Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
due this spring.
It consists of an electric motor rated at 73 horsepower and 95 pound-feet of torque and a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 17.6 kWh. In the For-Us Concept this zero-emission drivetrain will see the vehicle reach a top speed of 75 mph.
One innovative feature is the vehicle’s charging outlet in the cargo area. Smart suggests carrying a pair of electric bikes, so that any driver of the For-Us can also reach destinations that are out of bounds for cars--for example traffic-calmed zones in the city or isolated park trails.
While we don’t expect Smart to launch a pickup model anytime soon, we can envisage the For-Us Concept’s open-top design featuring on a sporty new roadster model. Following the success MINI has enjoyed with all its variants spun-off the basic Cooper hatchback design, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Smart follow the same route using its next-generation ForTwo as the basis.
For more from the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, including live shots and fresh details direct from the show floor, click here for our dedicated show page