SUV coupe

When people talk about smart nowadays, they aren’t referring to the smart fortwo or the forfour, you know the one where in the movie Expendables, Arnold Schwarzenegger rips the door open and says “my shoe is bigger than this car.” Well because no one really remembers those cars because of the recent impact that smart has made in the Malaysian market with the smart #1. 

Designed by Mercedes, built on Geelys sustainable electric architecture and is under Pro Net, a subsidiary of Proton.  Just over a 100 days in the Malaysian market and the Smart #1 sold 100 units within a month which set a new sales record.  They have been offering the smart #1 in 3 variants, the Pro, Premium and top of the line Brabus. 

Pretty impressive. But they are not done yet. To extend their lineup, smart has introduced the new smart #3. We attended an exclusive preview event held at Proton’s headquarters in Subang Jaya. Spanning three days, the event provided attendees with an immersive experience, offering a firsthand look and driving impression of smart’s latest addition to its product portfolio: the all-electric smart #3 SUV Coupe.


Just like the #1, the #3 also comes in different specs and configurations, including the top-of-the-line Brabus version. The Premium variant gets a single motor driving the rear wheels which puts out 268hp and 343Nm of torque. It can go from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds, up to a top speed of 180km/h.

Meanwhile, the Smart #3 Brabus gets a twin motor setup putting out 422hp and 543Nm of torque. 0-100km/h takes just 3.7 seconds, up to a top speed of 180km/h.

These specifications are similar to the #1, therefore the power delivery seemed very identical. However, the #3 is a more mature version in the sense that the throttle response is slightly better and the pickup efficiency along with a new launch control system, allows it to hit the 3.7 seconds mark, compared to the #1’s 3.9 seconds. Due to this tuning, shooting out of corners is a little more satisfying.


The #3 has a front MacPherson and rear five-link suspension structure which translates to controllability and a more precise steering response which gives you a more flexible control of the car. The AWD version uses a thicker front and rear stabiliser bar which effectively reduces body roll and improves on the cornering limit. 

The slalom-like test made it seem like we were not even driving an SUV. It felt more refined due to the 5.5 minimum turning radius. This gives you more manoeuvrability control if you ever need to swing away from a real-life scenario.

Because the smart #3 is longer and wider than the #1, it was planted to the ground during corners at 100km/h. We felt confident and we just kept wanting more because, like we said, shooting out of corners is so much fun. 


This writer has a rather bigger build compared to the average human size so comfort plays a big role in every car. The #3 does not compromise on that. Yes, the #1 was comfortable too but in the #3, we felt a little bit more comfortable because of the wider stance. 

Drivers get plenty of legroom and for those who are sitting at the back, don’t worry because there is ample legroom for you too. We thought headroom would be an issue due to the coupe-like shape but we were wrong. There is plenty of space to move your head around which makes it easy to get in and out of the car. 

Just like the #1, the driver and front passenger get ventilated seats (Premium and Brabus) which adds to the comfort experience due to our “beautiful” Malaysian weather. 


The higher-spec variants support 22kW of AC Charging and up to 150kW for DC charging. The base “Pro” model only supports a slower 7kW of AC charging and DC charging up to 130kW. This gives us a  455km driving range for the Premium and 415km for the Brabus. With a 0.27 ultra-low drag coefficient thanks to aerodynamic optimisations, the #3 has a 15km driving range more than the #1.

Speaking of aerodynamics, the optimisations include aerodynamic rims, front and rear wheel wind deflectors, active air intake grille and wind blade air curtains.

The #3 is launching here soon and further details will be provided very soon.

Polestar, the high-performance electric car company owned by Volvo Cars and Geely, announced last year that it would be launching one new model each year starting with the Polestar 3 in 2022. It’s now 2023 and the next model is the Polestar 4, which is positioned between Polestar 2 and Polestar 3 in terms of size and price. The company estimates launch pricing to be from 60,000 euros (equivalent to RM291,180 today).

Production is planned to begin in Hangzhou Bay, China, from November this year, with the first cars being delivered to customers in the country. A full-scale launch for other markets, including in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, is planned for early 2024 – with sales and production ramping up for these markets through the course of the year.


Malaysia will be among the first Asian markets (outside China) to get the smart #1 later in the year when PRO-NET starts selling it. The #1 is just the first of a range of models from smart – a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Geely. Next in line will be the #3 which has been presented for the first time at Auto Shanghai 2023 today.

Where the #1 is a SUV, the #3 is a SUV coupe, a sleeker derivative for those who prefer a sportier image. Mercedes-Benz Design has the responsibility for the exterior and interior of the smart models, while Geely provides the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) modular platform engineered specifically for EVs.


A year after beginning a new model era with the smart #1, smart has now released preliminary design details of its next model, a SUV coupe which will be called smart #3. Like the smart #1, this new model has also been designed by Mercedes-Benz Design, the German carmaker being a partner in the company together with Geely.

To be displayed at Auto Shanghai 2023 next month, the smart #3 (hashtag 3) has another interpretation of the brand’s visual identity, this one being even sportier. The exterior form is defined by athletic curves and shaped by organically connected lines like the smart #1.


BHPetrol RON95 Euro4M

The SUV range of Mercedes-Benz in Malaysia has a new member – the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe – which is assembled locally at the Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) facility in Pekan, Pahang. Priced from 498,722.77 (excluding insurance), the new GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe, the SUV has a 3-litre V6 biturbo engine with an output of 390 bhp/520 Nm that gives it a claimed 0 to 100 km/h time of 4.9 seconds but the top speed is limited to 250 km/h.

Besides the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed automatic transmission, AMG Performance 4MATIC 4-wheel drive is standard and features rear-biased torque distribution with a front/rear axle split of 31% to 69%. This enhances driving dynamics and enables higher lateral acceleration on the road as well as improved traction when accelerating.

There’s also AMG RIDE CONTROL+ which combines the advantages of various types of suspension in one. It is based on the AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension with AMG Adaptive Damping System that gives both sporty driving dynamics and comfort. At high speeds, the vehicle sits lower on the road to reduce wind resistance and further increase stability.

While the GLC Coupe is not an unfamiliar sight, the latest generation has been given a more striking appearance, with an AMG radiator grille incorporating vertical chrome-plated fins. The sleek profile view has accentuated side sill panels which visually lower and lengthen the vehicle.

With the AMG Night package, selected exterior elements are finished in high-gloss black. The aerodynamically optimised AMG 5 twin-spoke light-alloy wheels  have a 21-inch diameter and come with AMG lettering.

Cabin layout variability
Even though the exterior form is sporty, the cabin offers plenty of space for passengers and luggage. Its variability allows for more luggage or longer items to be accommodated when necessary. Sports seats are standard, with improved lateral support to both the driver and front passenger. The upholstery is of black ARTICO artificial leather/DINAMICA microfibre and given distinctiveness with red stitching.

The AMG steering wheel is wrapped in nappa microfibre and has a flattened bottom section. It is perforated in the grip area for better grip while ergonomically-positioned Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel make operation of certain systems easier.

Driving Assistance Package
With Mercedes-Benz being a leader in automobile safety, it’s only to be expected that the GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe comes with a comprehensive list of safety systems, some of which are advanced. Its Mercedes-Benz Driving Assistance Package has several safety technologies and assistance systems such as cruising speed adjustment, steering, changing lane and autonomous emergency braking.

“The new GLC 43 4MATIC Coupe exemplifies the perfect balance between power and functionality. This mid-size performance SUV Coupe combines the new expressive design elements with enhanced performance and absolute viability in everyday use. Its exceptional agility and sporty driving dynamics is a testament to our brand promise of ‘Driving Performance’ in this segment,” said Michael Jopp, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing Passenger Cars at Mercedes-Benz Malaysia.

The new Mercedes-Benz GLB-class

Audi launched its electric offensive with the all-electric  Q4 e-tron SUV in September 2018 and by 2025, the carmaker aims to offer more than 20 vehicles with electric drive and achieve roughly 40% of its sales with electrified models.

2020 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept

To date, Audi has grown its electrified range to six models and the seventh will be the Q4 Sportback e-tron SUV coupe will be launched next year. Previewing the second e-tron SUV model as a concept study for now, Audi’s aim is to give potential Q4 customers the opportunity to start thinking about which version they prefer roughly a year before the first vehicles will be delivered.

MEB and its importance
The technology of the Q4 e-tron concept is provided by the modular electrification platform (MEB), which will be used for numerous electric vehicles produced by the Volkswagen Group in the future. This platform serves as the basis primarily for electric cars in the high-volume A segment. It allows the best technology available to be developed jointly across brands and used in many different electric cars. The MEB thus also helps electric mobility to break through even in the particularly price-sensitive compact segment.

Volkswagen Group MEB

The dimensions of the two Q4 models are almost identical. With an exterior length of 4.6 metres and a height of 1.6 metres, the Sportback is just 1 cm longer and flatter. They are identical in terms of their width and wheelbase.

They will also have the same drive technology using two electric motors with 225 kW of system output. Claimed acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is 6.3 seconds, with the top speed restricted to 180 km/h.

Audi Q4 e-tron
The Q4 e-tron which was launched in 2018 (left) and the Q4 e-tron Sportback concept which previews the next electric SUV model to go on sale in 2021.

Electric quattro
The quattro all-wheel drive system sends the power to the road but there is no mechanical connection between the axles. Instead, an electronic control ensures that the torque distribution is coordinated optimally, and it does so in fractions of a second.

Audi electric Quattro

In most cases, the Q4 Sportback e-tron concept mainly uses its rear electric motor in order to achieve the highest efficiency. For reasons of efficiency, the drive torque is generally distributed with a rear-axle bias. If the driver requires more power than the rear electric motor can supply, the electric all-wheel drive uses the front asynchronous motor to redistribute the torque as required to the front axle. This also happens predictively even before slip occurs in icy conditions or when cornering fast, or if the car understeers or oversteers.

A large battery pack with a capacity of 82 kWh takes up almost the entire space in the underbody area between the axles. The range claimed from a fully charged pack is over 450 kms. Versions with rear-wheel drive can go further, with a range of over 500 kms. The battery is charged with a maximum of 125 kW, requiring little more than 30 minutes to reach 80% of the total capacity.

2020 Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback concept

2020 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept

Sense of spaciousness
With its dimensions, the Q4 Sportback e-tron concept takes its position in the upper third of the compact class. By contrast, its wheelbase of 2.77 metres puts it at least one class higher. As there is no transmission tunnel restricting the space, there is generous legroom at the front and even more in the rear.

The colour scheme in the cabin emphasizes the sense of spaciousness. Sustainability is the top priority not only in terms of the electric drive but also materials used. The floor covering, for example, is made of recycled materials.

2020 Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback concept

The Audi virtual cockpit displays the main elements for speed, charge level, and navigation, while a large-format head-up display with an augmented reality function is a new feature. It can display important graphical information, such as directional arrows for turning, directly on the course of the road.

As the centre console does not need to hold functional elements such as a gearlever or handbrake lever, the area is used for a more spacious stowage compartment that includes a cell phone charging cradle. In addition to the conventional lower storage compartment, the doors now provide the possibility to store bottles in the specially molded upper section, where they are easy to reach.

BHPetrol RON95 Euro4M

Audi electrification strategy
By 2025, Audi aims to offer more than 20 vehicles with electric drive and achieve roughly 40% of its sales with electrified models.

The gripping story of Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system



Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on YouTube