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Smart bakkie a bright idea?

2012-01-11 09:17

BETS ARE ON!: Given Americans' love of large pick-up trucks, will Smart's pick-up enjoy the same interest?

DETROIT, Michigan - Smart, calling it the perfect vehicle for an urban society, has unveiled the ForUs, a tiny battery bakkie version of the classic US pick-up truck.

Smart, a division of Germany's Daimler AG, said the concept vehicle was so small it could fit in the load bed of a traditional truck and barely be noticed. At the same time, it has enough room for two people to sit comfortably.

The truck's cargo bed hold spaces to charge two battery bicycles.

The electric concept, says Smart chief executive Annette Winkler, "combines the fun and freedom of a pick-up with the practicality and eco-friendly aspects of an economy car".

THE HIGHLIGHTS
...

Power: Its lithium-ion battery can be fully charged in less than eight hours. It has a 55kW magneto-electric motor.

Size: The truck is 3.5m long, nearly 90cm longer than Smart's traditional ForTwo car.

Speed: With 130Nm of torque, the ForUs can reach 130km/h.

Looks: Its interior is "mother-of-pearl" white with brushed aluminium and bright-yellow seat covers. Instead of a traditional rear-view mirror, a video camera shows the space behind the car on a smart phone mounted above the fascia.

The mni battery-bakkie also has Michelin off-road tyres mounted on three-spoked rims with fold-out wing nuts.

Cheers: The truck's small size will make it easy to park, especially for city dwellers forced to hunt for street parking every day.

Jeers: Did we mention that this truck is really small? In America, Smart has struggled to sell such tiny cars which must share road space with much larger vehicles. It's unclear if a truck this tiny has a chance of survival.
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