Smart reveals For-Us pickup truck concept

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Pickup trucks are traditionally big, brutish haulers. Often caked in mud and dirt, they're the workhorses of the automotive world. So why is Smart, the subcompact car company, building one?

"We at Smart love pick-ups – if they are small on the outside, large on the inside, very safe and extremely comfortable. With the Smart For-Us a petrol station is no longer required!" exclaimed Dr. Annette Winkler, CEO of Smart.

Best known for building tiny, fuel-efficient runabouts, Smart is doing more of the same with the For-Us. Although it is a pickup truck, the For-Us is still relatively tiny and therefore still traditionally a Smart vehicle.

As Dr. Winkler mentioned, the Smart For-Us doesn't require gasoline at all. It's powered by a 55 kW (74 horsepower) magneto-electric motor that generates 130 Nm (96 lb-ft) of torque and makes the tiny pickup truck a zero emissions vehicle. It's worth noting that the electric powertrain for the For-Us pickup concept is more than merely conceptual, being derived from Smart's upcoming ForTwo Electric Drive coupe which is due for sale in Canada later in the summer of 2012.

Smart describes the exterior styling of the For-Us pickup concept as "sassy and robust." With its convex and concave surfaces and pert, two-tone bodywork, the For-Us exudes a fun-to-drive spirit on looks alone.

A step inside the Smart For-Us reveals seating for two occupants ahead of the flat cargo area. Like the exterior, the interior confines are bright and modern with "aerodynamic styling for interior ventilation," executed using white and yellow surfaces. In place of a conventional rear-view mirror the For-Us features an integrated video camera that allows the driver to see what is happening behind the vehicle, and the cargo area has a charging outlet to allow a pair of electric bicycles to be docked and charged, providing the ultimate in go-anywhere transportation.

Referred to by Smart as "The Rule-Breaker," the For-Us pickup concept is a charming and endearing take on sub-compact transportation. Although it most likely won't earn much favour among traditional pickup truck consumers, other fun-loving motorists will surely swoon for the quirky electric vehicle. The Smart For-Us concept is scheduled to make its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Pickup, EV, smart, 2012, For-Us Concept, Subcompact,

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