Brazilian start-up Obvio! is shaping up to deliver the kind of product that the first-generation smart car was supposed to be: compact, high-tech and pitched at town-dwellers wanting to buck the trend in automotive design.

See more of the Obvio! car
Under head designer Anisio Campos and CEO Ricardo Machado, the company has created a three-seater urban ’micro sportscar,’ with a business model based on building on demand, without main dealers or conventional marketing. Although the original plans were to build a flex-fuel vehicle (Brazil is a world leader in ethanol production), the 829 and Zero14 models are now all-electric.
Engineered in collaboration with Lotus, the cars have bio-plastic bodyshells sitting upon an aluminium chassis. Stubby and toylike, the smaller 829 is just 2.75m long. Ultimately quick stop ’EletriStations’ are planned to enable swift battery swapping, ending the electric car’s Achilles heel – the paltry range. Obvio! is nothing if not ambitious.