A few weeks ago we told you about the third generation Smart ForTwo Electric Drive which was due to be unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. 

With a faster top speed, better range and ultra-fast 1 hour recharge capability, the new version of the diminutive city car should hit the roads next year -- but it won’t be the only electric smart car on display in Frankfurt. 

Enter Smart’s new ForSpeed Electric Concept.  Similar in appearance to the 2011 ForSpeed Concept we saw in Geneva earlier in the year, the ForVision features a revised one-piece front grille, almond-shaped lights and bold, angular body panels. 

Less minimalistic in its design than the ForSpeed, the ForVision actually features a roof, complete with transparent photovoltaic solar cells to power ventilation fans and the car’s entertainment system during the daytime. 

Based on a new platform developed in collaboration with the Renault-Nissan alliance, the concept also showcases a new generation of body panels, plastic wheels, and carbon-fiber resin passenger cell which Smart produced in collaboration with chemical and materials giant BASF.

Thanks to the lightened chassis, Smart claims the ForVision is much more energy efficient than the current Smart ForTwo. While it is unlikely the ForVision will ever make it into production, we can imagine any improvements on chassis weight and energy efficiency made by the concept being adopted for a production Smart ForTwo.

Adopting a typicaly futuristic look inside, the Smart ForVision includes LED cabin lighting, seats covered with e-textiles -- which are capable of conduting electricity and provide seat heating -- and body panels which it claims can reflect radiant heat to keep the interior cool in summer and warm in winter with minimal air conditioning or heating. 

The ForVision is the third electric concept from Smart, and joins the Smart ForSpeed and Smart Escooter concepts. 

Look out for the official debut of the 2011 Smart ForVision Concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show next month. In the meantime, head here for our full coverage of the Frankfurt show thus far.



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