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Auto Show:  2012 Detroit Auto Show

Smart For-Us Concept: Detroit Auto Show


author photo by Jeffrey Archer January 2012
  • The For-Us Concept features a 12-cubic-foot unenclosed pickup bed, bringing the practicality of a truck to city dwellers.
  • Smart says the For-Us includes an all-electric 75-horsepower motor that can propel the concept car to 60 mph in about five seconds.
  • While we don't expect the For-Us to reach production, its existence proves more variations on the Smart Fortwo may be on the way.

Can you imagine a Smart car with a pickup bed? That's exactly what Smart debuted at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, releasing a two-door, two-seat concept car dubbed the For-Us that adds a pickup bed to the traditional Smart Fortwo.

Although the For-Us is unlikely to see production, the concept is certainly a novel idea that garnered considerable attention in Detroit. While the unusual model remains close to the traditional Smart Fortwo's dimensions and shape, the new pickup truck-like bed adds a level of practicality that could benefit city-dwelling car owners who frequently haul their bikes or need to move the occasional piece of furniture.

On the outside, the For-Us retains several traditional Smart design cues like its pronounced door line, two-tone body structure and diminutive, upright shape, while futuristic front and rear fascias - each devoid of bumpers - are also included. Inside, the For-Us bears far less resemblance to the current Smart Fortwo, offering a U-shaped steering wheel; futuristic chrome accents including a gear selector and gauges; and yellow accents throughout the cabin.

Under the hood, the For-Us continues its futuristic theme, featuring a fully electric 75-horsepower motor that can be recharged from empty in about eight hours. Thanks to an impressive 98 pound-feet of torque - a strong figure for the small car - the motor helps propel the For-Us to 60 miles per hour in a lightning-quick five seconds on its way to a top speed of approximately 80 mph.

But while concept cars are known to feature wacky designs and include off-the-wall ideas, many onlookers still questioned why Smart would want to produce a pickup version of its tiny, rear-engine Fortwo city car.

"We at Smart love pickups - they are small on the outside, large on the inside, very safe and extremely comfortable," said Dr. Annette Winkler, the automaker's chief executive. "With the Smart For-Us, a petrol station is no longer needed."

Because the Smart concept's unenclosed bed features less than 12 cubic feet of cargo space, we can't imagine the For-Us would find a large following, even if it did see production. But its release proves Smart is headed the right direction by designing exciting new models that supplement the once-popular ForTwo city car.

What it means to you: The For-Us won't see production, but its release proves more variants of the Smart Fortwo may be on their way.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Smart For-Us Concept: Detroit Auto Show - Autotrader