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Smart concept car does away with doors, adds in skateboards

Could a door-less compact EV equipped with an electric skateboard be the next big thing in urban mobility?

It seems that the carmaker Smart thinks so along with no rear window and an open roof.

Gearing up for the Frankfurt International Motor Show, which opens Sept. 12, the Daimler AG company has released details about its Smart fourjoy, a concept designed around the idea, which is set to debut at the show.

The “free spirit” EV (my words, not theirs), which hints at some of the plans for Smart’s four-door production vehicle that launches next year,  is being touted as the future of Smart cars with an emphasis on families.

“The Smart fourjoy is the perfect icon of our Smart design philosophy that is being carried into a new era. For the first time we are showing the future sporty four-seater character of the new Smart family,” said  Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG, in the company’s official press release. “The typical Smart silhouette, the clear lines and styling and also the further development of the Smart face make this study a modern design icon.”

Personally, I’ll hold off on crowing the car as a “design icon”, but the Smart fourjoy is a pretty interesting concept when it comes to what the future of urban mobility might look like.

smart four joy rear

Taking design cues from the first smart model series, much of Smart fourjoy’s styling elements are centered on the idea of unlimited open space. Without doors, a rear window or roof panel, the car gives both the driver and passengers a unique experience when traveling in the city. And possibly a dirty and damp experience at times as well.

The most distinctive elements of the vehicle are the two futuristic-looking front seats and the rear seat bench, which features a similar design. The interior also features two smartphones mounted on the dashboard and on the centre tunnel at the rear to keep all four passengers entertained and likely recharged.

Powered by a 55 kW magneto-electric motor, the Smart fourjoy’s drivetrain is based on the current Smart fortwo electric car, according to an official Daimler press release. The lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 17.6 kWh.

When completely empty, Daimler AG says it’ll take a maximum of seven hours to fully charge the battery at a household socket or charging station on the electricity systems of most countries, or in other words, overnight or all day at work.  Charging time at a wallbox or public charging station can be shortened to less than one hour with the 22 kW on-board charger and a rapid charging cable, likely on the Level II 240-volt system.

The Smart fourjoy is also equipped with two electric longboards fastened on the roof when there’s a need to cover short distances in the city. Helmets for the boards are stowed under the rear seats.  The helmets are also equipped with a high-def camera for filming when riding the skateboards to share the experience with friends on social networks.

Exactly how many elements of the car will make it into Smart’s fourseat production car remains to be seen, but I think the electric skateboards would definitely be a nice feature. 

Ultimate open-air city car or rolling safety hazard? Tell us how smart you think the Smart concept is in comments.

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