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Tiny Smart Cars Get Sexy With a Topless Redesign

Hellooooooo, nurse!

Tiny Smart Cars Get Sexy With a Topless Redesign

Smart cars are great for the environment and all, but no self-respecting car freak would be caught dead in one of those impeccably nerdish ski boots. Now, Smart’s trying to bring the sexy with a clever little tactic that’s drawn oglers since time immemorial: It’s taking its top off.

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Debuting at the International Motor Show in Geneva next month, the Forspeed is a button-cute, two-seater convertible concept car that represents Smart’s valiant effort to spinoff its lovably dorky Smart Fortwo Electric Drive into something cool, fast, and green.

It’s got at least that last one the bag. The car goes from zero to 80% charge in 45 minutes using a 220-volt outlet and travels 85 miles before needing more juice. Photovoltaic cells in the windshield feed solar power to the on-board electrical system.

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As for speed: It’s nothing to write home about. It revs up to 37 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds and has a top speed of 75 mph. Admittedly, that’s faster than the Smart Fortwo ED, but in a race with a Tonka Truck, well… it’d be a toss up.

Lookswise is where things get interesting. Forspeed doesn’t have a roof, side windows, or even exterior door handles, which gives the body a silky smooth aesthetic that falls somewhere between a Beetle and a Brancusi. A sporty interior takes its design cues from airplanes, with a smartphone-equipped cockpit and “turbine-like instrument clusters” (see above) facing both the driver and co-pilot. A tonneau stretches over the interior and fastens to the body in inclement weather. If you forget about it? The seats and equipment are basically waterproof, and drainage channels will route the water outside.

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Forspeed probably won’t go into production, as we reported earlier today. Rumor has it, Smart’s worried it won’t turn a profit. But the car company might incorporate some of the vehicle’s sexier elements into other cars, like the photovoltaic cells — and, let’s hope, that hot, topless bod.

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About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.

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