Smart forvision – The Future Is Here
The smart forvision is an apt new moniker for what is a revolution in the design of ultra-urban commuters which the smart company has been synonymous with building. It was recently unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Let’s talk about the highlights:
A New Design
The rule book has been thrown-out by the people at smart. They needed a different identity and this was clearly the motive behind the concept car shown in Frankfurt. The forvision combines the best design and engineering features of their former vehicles and blends them with new 21st century advances in many key areas.
What was already good in the smart was refined and improved for implementation in the forvision concept car. The guiding principles for smart in building this forward-thinking microcar were eliminating weight, improving styling and performance, and delivering a better driver experience. The forvision accomplishes many of these objectives.
Alignment with a World Leader
The first of these targeted areas for improvement – weight, was achieved by working closely with global chemical giant BASF. The companies worked together to approach the smart forvision with a mission to lessen the weight, mass and size of the materials used in the construction of the smart.
The results called for heavy doses of the application of carbon-fiber-reinforced epoxy resin. This space age material drops components made of steel by as much as 50%. Door and some body panels were impacted with the weight-saving application of the resin.
All Green Electric Power Train
The forvision features their next generation electric drive system. Parent company, Daimler, claims the new power-plant adds 20% to the range of the smart, which increases the projected distance the forvision can travel to 100 miles.
Top speed information was unavailable at the time of this writing, but is expected to be in the 75 MPH range. This should make it capable of quick, inner city freeway jaunts when necessary.
Superior Power Management
Added to the overall power management and handling system, is an approach that minimizes consumption. This is achieved with everything from the paint, which actually reflects sunlight rather than absorbing it, to the photovoltaic array in the car’s roof. This scheme powers the forvision’s climate control system, which runs constantly to keep the temperature of the cabin comfortable for passengers.
Even the seats received attention from the engineers at smart. Rather than using industry-standard ventilated seats, the forvision’s seats are wrapped in a new fleece-type fabric, which is intended to keep your buns cool on warm days. The reverse is true of the seats in cold – they apply optimum warmth to the areas of the body most affected by the cold.
Lighting is a primary energy thief in many electric vehicles. In a sign of things to come for car makers of all kinds, the forvision has LED head and taillights. The interior is also equipped with organic OLEDs, which are in the roof of the vehicle.
LEDs in door panels light in a sequence – outside-to-inside when doors are opened. The effect is one that seems to invite passengers into the passenger compartment. The interior driver’s side has no instrument panel. Smart opted for using a transparent panel in the steering wheel to deliver information to the driver.
The LED taillights also ingeniously do triple-duty and indicate the battery charge levels as long as the forvision is plugged-in. The centers of the taillights also have embedded, miniature exhaust fans which expel cabin air.
The last interior thermal property is the insulation of the interior compartment, which is done with special foam to reduce the power usage needed to achieve comfort in all seasons.