HomeNorth American International Auto Show
Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Smart For Us

What is it? A little tiny electric pickup from Smart, the For-Us The For-Us is a bit longer and wider than other Smart models, with a footprint comparable to that of a Fiat 500. It is powered by a 75-hp electric motor drawing juice from a 17.kwH lithium-ion battery. The range is said to be 86 miles on a full charge, with a charging time reckoned to be eight hours. Think of it as a motorized wheelbarrow with a top speed said to be about 80 mph.

What is new or notable? The For-Us Smart claims 0-to-60 times of 5 seconds, which would surely be a record for any Smart to date, since gasoline and diesel forms are among the most sluggish cars made.

CR’s take: You always have to suspend disbelief when looking at concept cars, but even blurring our mental eyes it’s hard to see the For-Us as a practical choice. Combination pickup-and-something-elses have been tried before and have not sold well, since they have tended to be not very useful pickups and not very good cars: the worst of both worlds instead of the best.

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