A Smart pickup? We'd never imagined such a creation before, but judging by the new For-us concept, which debuts in January at the 2012 Detroit auto show, the designers at Smart apparently have.
While the For-us is apparently on the existing ForTwo convertible, the For-us is a little bit bigger. At 97.6 inches, the concept's wheelbase is a full two feet longer than the standard ForTwo, and the car is about 33.5 inches longer and 6.3 inches taller than the standard model.
That added length benefits the cargo space more than the passenger compartment (the For-us is still a two-seater, after all). Aft of the B-pillars is a stubby little pickup bed. The tailgate can be electrically lowered and extended, providing up to about 35.4 inches of load floor. Considering compact pickups can offer six-foot-long beds, that really isn't that much, but Smart thinks it's plenty for hauling small odds and ends, or perhaps a bicycle. In fact, the show car includes integrated docks/ charging ports for a pair of electric bicycles - perhaps Smart's own eBike.
Those bikes aren't the only part of this package to draw their power from electricity. The For-us is powered not by the ForTwo's wheezy inline three-cylinder gas engine, but a driveline seemingly ripped from the Smart ForTwo eD. A 55-kW (74-hp) electric motor spins the rear wheels, and is powered by a 17.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Smart predicts a top speed of 75 mph, but neglects to provide an estimated range. Seeing as the Smart eD travels about 87 miles on a single charge, we imagine the For-Us would meet but not exceed that figure.
The For-us will make its debut in the flesh at next month's Detroit Auto Show, at which point we'll see exactly how smart this idea is.