Smart #1: Launching in Malaysia in Q4 2023, here’s what we know so far

Although still not quite affordable, EV choices in Malaysia are now more abundant with over 10 EVs launched in Malaysia just last year. One upcoming EV that we’re all looking forward to welcoming to Malaysia is the Smart #1, which will be distributed by PRO-NET, which is Proton’s EV subsidiary. With the EV set to launch this year, here’s a quick recap of what we know so far about the Smart #1.

You may remember Smart as the brand with famous small cars like the Smart Fortwo and Smart Forfour. The Smart #1 is an all-electric small SUV, that’s a bit larger than the Smart ForFour and is the result of a venture between Mercedes-Benz and Geely.

The Smart #1 made its world debut in April 2022 and is about the size of a standard B-segment SUV. China, Europe, and UK were some of the earlier regions to welcome the Smart #1 during the second half of 2022.

Upon its global debut, the Smart #1 was introduced with a single-motor rear-wheel drive (RWD) powertrain that makes 272 hp (metric) and 343 Nm and provides a 6.7-second century sprint time. The Smart #1 houses a 66-kWh battery pack that provides an all-electric driving range of 420-440 km on the WLTP test cycle.

RELATED: Smart’s adorable-looking #1 SUV shows that it’s serious about EVs

Currently, the Smart #1 is available in four versions (listed here with their prices in Germany and approximate Ringgit conversion):

  • Smart #1 Pro+ – €41,490 (approx. RM193,104)
  • Smart #1 Premium – €44,990 (approx. RM209,393)
  • Smart #1 Launch Edition – €46,290 (approx. RM215,444)
  • Smart #1 BRABUS – €48,990 (approx. RM228,010)

The Smart #1 Pro + is the base variant, and is priced at approximately €10,000 (approx. RM46,506) cheaper than a base-spec Mercedes-Benz EQA. The base-spec EQA starts at €50,777 (approx. RM) in Germany. As for Malaysia, the Mercedes-Benz EQA is only available as the fully-imported (CBU) EQA 250+ which now costs RM296,888 with SST back in place.

RELATED: Fully electric Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 launched in Malaysia, from RM278k

Smart #1 Launch Edition

Judging by the price difference in Europe, the base-spec Smart #1 could be priced in the lower RM200k + region. As for specifications, Proton has sent a team of staff to China to decide on the final specifications of the Smart #1 for Malaysia. The delegation will also undergo New Energy Vehicle (NEV) training at the Geely Research Institute in Ningbo.

While all ‘normal’ versions of the Smart #1 get a single-motor setup, Brabus introduced a souped-up version of the brand’s first EV SUV in August 2022, adding another electric motor to the front axle. The result is a combined output of 428 hp and 543 Nm that launches the little EV SUV from 0 to 100 km/h in a blistering 3.9 seconds. The Brabus treatment can also be seen on the exterior and interior of the car.

RELATED: Smart #1 EV gets Brabus treatment – hot compact SUV EV to have over 400 hp

In the same month the Brabus Smart #1 was introduced, Proton inked a distributorship deal with Smart for the Smart #1. The deal is primarily a retail operation with aftersales service. Later in September, Proton established its EV subsidiary, PRO-NET which will spearhead the sales and distributorship for Smart vehicles in Malaysia. PRO-NET is also collaborating with Petronas’s Gentari to build 20 DC fast chargers in Malaysia in 2023.

Set to launch in Malaysia in the fourth quarter of 2023, the Smart #1 scored a perfect 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test in November 2022. The Euro NCAP results for the Smart #1 were released together with 14 other cars including the Malaysia-bound Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Toyota bZ4x.

RELATED: Hyundai Ioniq 6 scores 5-star Euro NCAP rating – safer than EV6, Ioniq 5


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