Design-wise, it looks a lot like a Smart ForTwo, but with a small cargo bed added in back. More cynical folks will notice that the entire For-Us will fit inside the average pickup truck bed, but this ultra-compact pickup will come in handy for accessing smaller areas such as small trails.
The For-Us takes its design cues from Smart’s ForVision concept, which emphasizes ovoid shapes and textured surfaces.
The rear cargo area is three feet long and should accommodate a mountain bike or two, if the front wheels are removed. The idea behind the afore-mentioned electric bicycles -- the Smart Ebikes -- is that the car could be driven to a trail system or pedestrian zone, then left behind while the occupants switch to riding the Ebikes. Or, presumably, the Ebikes could be used on RV or camping getaways. Accessing the cargo area is a snap with the power retracting tailboard; it pulls back so that the tailgate can lie flat.
The For-Us will be powered by a 74-horsepower electric motor that delivers 95 ft-lbs of torque and uses a 17.7 kW/h lithium-ion battery. This setup is identical to the ForTwo electric drive that will be released this spring. Recharging will occur through both a plug-in outlet and regenerative braking. Top speed is a bit vague -- reports vary from 75 mph to 120 mph -- but there’s no word on expected range.
With all the ridicule this little truck is enduring from the automotive press, whether the For-Us will ever see production is anyone’s guess. If it does, it will at least make history as the world’s first zero-emissions truck -- and Smart will have the last laugh.