By Antti Kautonen, autoblog.com
Daimler has released photos of the new Forease concept ahead of the Paris Motor Show.Smart, the Daimler-Benz city car brand, is 20 years old. Its first product, the City-Coupe was presented in fall 1998, based on earlier concepts designed in tandem with the Swiss watchmaker Swatch. The two decades have seen Smart produce different cars such as low-slung roadsters and four-door Forfours based on Mitsubishi running gear, but the tall and short city car is what Smart has always been about. The new concept, called Forease, retains the “classic” Smart appearance, just restyled for the next decade.
The completely roofless Forease resembles an earlier limited-edition Smart production version, the slightly sandal-like 2002 Crossblade, but it’s a fully electric vehicle unlike the Crossblade; later on in 2011, Smart also showed an electric concept called Forspeed.
The Smart brand is turning electric-only in 2020, and the concept will herald that era. From 2017 on, Smart has already started selling solely electric cars in the U.S., Canada and Norway. According to the manufacturer, the Forease concept itself is an “uncompromised” and “uncomplicated” urban mobility vehicle, with both a cut-down windshield and a cut steering wheel. There are roll hoops behind the seats, molded into the rear structure. There is no roof at all, not even a temporary hardtop, so the HVAC system has been removed and the dashboard’s vents have been filled in with extra displays. “The Smart Forease is proof that Smart thinks unconventionally. Its design is reduced and pure,” said Gorden Wagener, Daimler AG’s chief design officer.
This article originally appeared on Autoblog