New 2023 Smart #3 SUV leaked in Chinese homologation filings

Here’s our first look at what could be the next car in Smart’s revolution, a C-segment coupe-SUV called Smart #3

Smart’s reboot as a carmarker with altogether larger ambitions than the firm’s original business model has already seen the introduction of the new #1 electric crossover. But the Geely-Daimler owned marque’s next step will take things in a much larger direction, according to these newly leaked homologation filings from China. 

It appears to be a ‘#3’ badged coupe-SUV model – suggesting a more upright #2 version is also in development. Both standard and high-performance Brabus versions of the car are undergoing the homologation process in China, where it will be built. 

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A gentle evolution of the new Gorden Wagener developed design language from the #1 has been adopted for this larger model. This includes the full-width lighting bar headlight and taillight setups, smooth surfacing, and the drooping C-pillar detail. A selection of alloy wheel designs have been submitted to China’s Ministry of Industry and Technology as well as evidence of personalisation options, including contrasting roofs, mirrors and rear spoilers. 

Perhaps though, the most interesting aspect of the leaked car is the dimensions supplied with the homologation paperwork; the Smart #3 is 4.4 metres long, 1.8 metres wide and 1.6 metres tall. 

It will place the Smart brand into the competitive mid-size C-SUV segment, with a car significantly larger than anything else wearing a Smart badge before it. The Smart #3 is similar in size to the next-generation MINI Countryman, which will be available with a fully-electric powertrain for the first time when the new model arrives in 2024. 

There’s also a version with a length of 4.5 metres, though this may not be a long-wheelbase variant for the Chinese market, as the paperwork makes reference to a “special traction device” for this #3. 

Some tentative technical and performance specifications have been outlined. Two motor versions will be offered, one developing 154bhp and another with 268bhp – the latter almost certainly the same motor used on the #1. But no battery capacities have been outlined for the longer #3. We expect it will make use of the Geely-developed SEA platform, like its smaller sibling, and an upcoming compact SUV teased by Volvo at the reveal of its new EX90 flagship electric SUV.

Click here for our list of the best electric SUVs…

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