Smart may be taking a step toward making a true convertible Fortwo, evidenced in its electric showcar called Forease+, which will be unveiled to the public at the Geneva International Motor Show.
Now the Fortwo has always been available in “convertible” form, but it was really just the same Fortwo with a removable roof panel and droppable half-roof over the cargo shelf/engine compartment. That doesn’t make it any less of a convertible, but now the company has created a Fortwo with a removable fabric roof … sort of.
The roof itself is actually a light yet sturdy hard shell covered in the soft top fabric common to most soft-top convertibles. It’s suitable for all weather driving with its coupe-like cabin, and can be removed to take advantage of a sunny day. The combination is the reasoning behind the + in the name.
Although the company did not release images of the car’s profile with the roof down, it’s promising a speedster look, with that bodystyle’s traditional shortened windshield and domes behind the seats’ headrests (it also doesn’t have windows). It’s a look designers are referring to as #rooflove, with the hashtag of course meant to attract social media attention.
“As a stylish and well-thought-out idea, the smart Forease+ shows the spirit of the brand: individual, scaled back and sustainable,” says Katrin Adt, head of Smart. “The showcar is also an impressive statement of coolness and urbanity typical of Smart.”
The roof/beltline combination is reminiscent of past Smart concepts, including 2012’s Forstars and 2013’s Fourjoy, both of which also features a roof-mounted ducktail spoiler that on the Forease+ is located directly over the taillights.
The Forease+ is based on the EQ Fortwo production model, theoretically giving the coupe a convertible sibling when the brand completely switches over to an electric drivetrain only, starting next year (the first global maker to make its entire product line — Fortwo, Fortwo Cabrio and Forfour — electric).
The Forease+ also shows a direction future Smarts might take, with LED lighting front and rear in unique configurations that no only provide better lighting but also add contours and depth, which changes with the viewer’s perspective, to what are traditionally flat elements.
The interplay between elements is carried over to the interior, where the amber nappa leather instrument panel wraps around glossy black vents and gauges, and seatbelt outlets are illuminated. And to pay tribute to the roof, the steering wheel also doesn’t have a top.
The entire cabin is a mixture of microfibre and nappa leather, with the seats a combination of the two, the steering wheel, door sills and beltlines in microfibre and the door panels in nappa leather.