What happens when you combine a group of middle-aged folk trying to think like millennials, Fred Flintstone and a skateboard? You end up with the Smart Fourjoy, a four-seat concept car designed to make you appreciate how cool and hip it is to be smart.
Where do I begin? Let's start with the fact it has no doors, no rear windshield and no roof; just an aluminum frame polished to a mirror finish. This, according to Smart, "dispenses unnecessary ballast." While I'm all for shedding weight, I'm not sure this is the smartest (sorry!) solution. To be fair, Smart also state it "gives viewers an unhindered view of the futuristic interior" and "really brings the city inside." But it also looks like I could put my feet through the floorboard and jog down to the quarry.
Because millennials hang out in South Beach, Smart decided to bring South Beach to Fred. The seats look straight out of the lobby at Miami's W hotel, and the spherical display cluster appears stolen from behind the Mynt Bar. (That's where the cool kids hang, apparently.) Sticking with the groovy vibe that is the Smart Fourjoy, the car is of course powered electrically. A 55 kW electric motor does the job, and charges from a regular outlet in around seven hours — or, with a 22 kW on-board charger and a rapid charging cable attached to a wallbox or public charging station, that time can be shortened to under one hour.
While waiting for the vehicle to charge, Smart has kindly removed the trunk and filled it with a pair of helmets and a clip on camera. For what reason, I hear you say? Well, it's for the two skateboards on the roof, because all millennials ride longboards. The high-def camera, as explained by Smart, "enables longboard riding to be filmed and subsequently shared with friends on social networks." Totally, bro.
Oh, and did I mention the longboards are electrically powered? Well they are. Because of course they are.
Some might think I'm being overly sarcastic here, given that the Smart Fourjoy remains merely a concept, and that all these silly bits won't ever appear on the upcoming four-seater Smart intends to build starting in 2014 — part of a plan by its parent Daimler, which needs more Smart customers in the United States to meet federal fuel economy standards. And removing the idiocies, the basis for the car does look rather nice; a desperately needed rework of Smart's styling from its mini Fortwo. But either I'm more uncool than I originally thought, or Smart have completely missed the mark on what millennials actually like. Do Smart's interpretation of today's youth really exist, or am I just stuck in the stone age?