Smart never really took off in Australia.

The cars were just too tiny and had too little power for our wide open roads, although the fortwo and forfour and the roadster were sold here briefly.

You still see the odd one from time time, normally a rolling advertisement for some company or product.

The brand continues to power on overseas however where a new concept has been unveiled in the lead up to the Paris motor show.

The Smart forease interprets and embodies urban driving fun in a refreshing way, says the Benz off shoot, which is celebrating its 20 anniversary.

The openness and minimalistic style are a tribute to the pioneering smart concept vehicles crossblade (2001) and forspeed (2011) and of course it an electric vehicle.

The forease owes its unconventional beauty to the opening of the interior to its environment, the absence of a roof and the shorter windscreen.

With its radiant, dramatic metallic-white and colour accents in “stream green”, it promises a carefree driving experience, freed from convention, yet in harmony with its surroundings.

“The Smart forease embodies a refreshingly simple form of driving fun in the city, standing for urban electric mobility without compromise – because, if in doubt, smart always opts for a consistent approach,” says Katrin Adt, new Head of smart from October.

“The result is a sustainable driving experience built on freedom. The Smart forease is proof that smart thinks unconventionally.”

Smart has been selling only electric vehicles in the USA, Canada and Norway since last year. From 2020, it will be marketing only battery-electric cars in Europe, too.

The rest of the World is due to follow soon after.

CHECKOUT: Smart is a quick thinker

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Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.