13 September 2011 by Parkers Team

  • Concept car features plastic wheels and solar panel
  • New electric Fortwo available in Spring 2012
  • Fortwo capable of 80mph and has a 90-mile range

Smart's stand featured unreasonable levels of ‘future vision' and at the forefront was the Forvision concept. It features radical new technology that is expected to filter down into a new Smart Fortwo in a few years' time.

Using the next generation of Smart's electric drive setup, the concept is capable of running for 20% longer than the current electric Smart if you believe the manufacturer's claims.

Clever invention is abound on this concept. The glass and paint reflect heat, meaning the car requires less air conditioning for the occupants to keep cool. The wheels are plastic, which saves 12kg over having conventional alloys and reduces unsprung weight.

Furthermore, there will be a solar panel for a roof, but you'll also be able to see through it thanks to cutting edge technology.

Even the headlights haven't escaped the scientist's microscope. They feature fans which have been installed to help airflow. The one-piece seats have tiny heater elements in which promise to heat only the parts of your body which need it.

The car's body is made from carbon fibre-reinforced epoxy resin, which is half the weight of steel.
Head of Smart, Dr Annette Winkler, said: ‘With the Forvision, Smart is doing justice to its role as Daimler's think tank for urban mobility. We are presenting numerous world premieres that make uncompromising electric mobility possible.'

The Smart stand also featured the third-generation Smart Fortwo electric drive which will be available from spring 2012. Smart says a five-figure number of vehicles will roll off the production line and they'll be available in 30 markets worldwide.

The new electric drive features a 55kw electric motor that'll do around 80mph and it'll get from 0-62mph in less than 13 seconds. It has a 90-mile range from a single full charge.

To read about all the new cars, concepts and news from the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, click here.