More power, enhanced range, faster recharging

The third-generation Smart ForTwo arrived in 2014 with significant changes over its predecessor. Co-developed with French carmaker Renault, it received a more traditional exterior design with a longer front hood, a revamped interior, and three new engines. Much like its predecessor, it also spawned a convertible and AMG version, and at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, Smart unveiled an all-electric variant.

Called the ForTwo Electric Drive (or ED), the emission-free car uses a brand-new electric drivetrain with enhanced output and increased range. For the first time, the electric motor is also offered in the convertible versions, making the ForTwo the only electric cabriolet on the market. What’s more, because the same drivetrain is also available in the larger ForFour model, Smart is the only car manufacturer to offer its entire model range with both combustion engines and battery-electric drive. Not that it would be difficult having just two vehicles, but it’s still a noteworthy achievement.

The new ForTwo Electric Drive will arrive in the United States in 2017. The coupe version will debut in the spring, while the cabriolet model will hit dealerships in the summer. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the smallest EV on the market and how it stacks up compared to its predecessor and main competitors.

Continue reading to learn more about the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive.

  • 2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    80
  • Torque @ RPM:
    118
  • 0-60 time:
    11.4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    81 mph
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8.5/10

Exterior

2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
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Much like the previous-generation ForTwo, the new Electric Drive is identical to its gasoline and diesel siblings. Granted, the official photos show cars with Electric Green accents on the bumpers, wheels, and side skirts, but this feature is actually part of the optional Electric Drive Design package. Select the car in standard trim and the only extras you get over the gasoline model are the "Electric Drive" and "ED" lettering on the front fascia and C-pillars, respectively. There’s no need to be disappointed though, if you’re the type that likes his car unique, the Electric Drive model benefits from a wide range customization options with regard to colors of exterior panels and elements, and optional equipment, just like the regular model.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 106.1 Inches
Width 65.5 Inches
Height 61.2 Inches

Interior

2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive High Resolution Interior
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2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive High Resolution Interior
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2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive High Resolution Interior
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Step inside and everything will seem familiar if you’ve already been in the standard model. Like the exterior, the interior remains pretty much the same as far as design goes. As you might have already guessed, the bright-green accents are also part of the Electric Drive Design package, while other colors can be selected from the long options list.

The Electric Drive is equipped with an additional dashboard instrument with power meter and battery status display.

However, there are a few features that set the EV apart from its siblings. First, the Electric Drive is equipped with an additional dashboard instrument with power meter and battery status display. On request, Smart will also add the winter package with heated steering wheel for enhanced climate comfort.

Second, there’s the Smart Control app, which enables the driver to access certain features via a smartphone, tablet or PC. For instance, users can activate the pre-entry climate control system and check the car’s charging status. The former enables the desired temperature to be reached inside the cabin while the vehicle is still charging at a socket. This way you won’t have to deal with cold or hot temperatures inside the car at the beginning of your travels.

Drivetrain

2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive High Resolution Exterior
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Like you’d expect from an electric car, the drivetrain is where the ForTwo Electric Drive is completely different from its siblings. Instead of the small-displacement three-cylinder engines available across the lineup, the ED features an electric motor with a single fixed gear ratio for additional comfort in dense city traffic and a battery.

The ED features an electric motor with a single fixed gear ratio for additional comfort in dense city traffic and a battery.

The drivetrain pumps out 80 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque, which accounts for a six-horsepower and 22-pound-feet increase over the outgoing model. At the same time, the Electric Drive is the second most-powerful, being surpassed only by the 90-horsepower, 0.9-liter version, and the torquiest ForTwo in the current lineup.

Smart had nothing to say about the ED’s acceleration from 0 to 60 mph, but it should be a tad quicker than the previous model, which needed 11.5 seconds to hit the benchmark. The German brand did mention that top speed is limited to 81 mph in order to maximize range, a three mph increase compared to its predecessor. Speaking of range, which is definitely one of the most important attribute for an electric car, the new ForTwo Electric Drive will cover 99 miles (or 160 km) on a single charge. This is a significant, 12-mile increase over the previous car.

There’s good news as far as charging time goes too. Thanks to a new, high-performance on-board charger, the vehicle can be charged in 2.5 hours, versus 5.5 hours of the outgoing model. Another new feature is the Eco mode, a function designed for efficient driving style. When activated, this setup further limits maximum speed, adjusts the accelerator curve, and switches into maximum energy recuperation mode.

Drivetrain Specifications

Motor three-phase synchronous motor
Battery Lithium-ion battery
Battery capacity (kWh) 17.2
Drive Config. Rear-Wheel Drive
Performance 80 hp/118 lb-ft
Transmission single-staged
0-60 mph (sec) 11.4 (cabrio: 11.7)
Turning Radius (ft) 22.8
Top speed (mph) 81

Prices

2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing information is not yet available, but expect the new ForTwo ED to cost more than the outgoing model, which retails from $25,750. A starting price of around $26,500 is likely.

Competition

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV High Resolution Exterior
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The Smart ForTwo is pretty much in a league of its own, especially since Toyota discontinued the tiny iQ. This is also available on the EV market, where the i-MiEV is the only competitor that’s available globally. Launched in 2009, the Japanese EV soldiered on with very few changes until 2016. For the 2017 model year, it is offered with the same synchronous permanent magnetic motor, single-speed transmission, and 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. The motor generates 66 horsepower from 300 rpm and 145 pound-feet of torque from as little as 300 rpm. Top speed is similar at 80 mph, as is the range, rated at up to 98 miles. Charging on the other hand takes significantly longer, with the i-MiEV battery needing six hours to fill up. Pricing starts from $22,995, which makes it the more affordable choice.

Find out more about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV here.

Conclusion

2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive High Resolution Exterior
- image 689218

Due to its size and frugal engines, the ForTwo is a unique car on the market and the perfect choice if you want to stroll around town without having to worry about finding parking spots or spending too much money on gasoline/diesel. The electric model comes to make this deal even sweeter, removing gas stations from your route and eliminating fuel-related expenses. Granted, it’s significantly more expensive than the gasoline version, but the extra investment should pay off in a few years.

  • Leave it
    • * Nearly twice as expensive as the base gasoline model
    • * No room for luggage and more than one passenger

Press Release

Photo Credit: Smart

The new smart electric drive makes opting into electric mobility more attractive than ever, combining overall agility with emission-free driving as an ideal combination for urban mobility. The smart fortwo electric drive is now available on the new-generation smart platform in both the smart fortwo coupe and cabrio models and, for the first time, in the smart forfour (not available in the U.S.). With this next generation, smart will be the only car manufacturer worldwide to offer its entire model range with both combustion engines and pure battery-electric drive. The smart electric drive will celebrate its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show and market launch of the smart fortwo coupe electric drive will start in the U.S. in spring 2017 and the smart fortwo cabrio electric drive in summer 2017.

2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive High Resolution Exterior
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"The smart is the ideal city car, and with electric drive it becomes a little bit more perfect," says Annette Winkler, Head of smart. "This is why we will soon be offering our entire range – smart fortwo, smart cabrio and even our smart forfour* – as all-electric versions. Together with lots of smart fans and enthusiastic drivers of the predecessor generations, we are looking forward to the unique driving fun offered by the new smart electric drive at very attractive prices, especially in countries where there is a buyer’s premium."

The most important information at a glance:

smart is the only car manufacturer worldwide to offer its entire model range with both combustion engines and pure battery- electric drive.
The smart fortwo cabrio ED is the only electric cabriolet on the market.
With 118 lb-ft torque and 80 hp, the electric car boasts exceedingly agile acceleration.
The fully charged battery has sufficient power to cover approximately 99 miles (or 160 kilometers in accordance with the NEDC), making it ideal for urban use. U.S. range and overall electric motor specifications will be announced at launch.
With the high-performance on-board charger, the smart electric drive can be charged in half the time as before (U.S. preliminary new generation charge time: 2.5 hours / previous generation charge time: 5.5 hours)

smart electric drive: agile, quiet and emission-free urban driving

The driving characteristics are as agile and lively as ever. The ultra- small turning circle also contributes to this, and at 22.8 feet for the two- seater it corresponds precisely to that of its sibling with conventional drive. Electric driving at smart offers maximum options for customization with regard to colors and optional equipment due to exclusive options and tridion paint colors offered on the electric drive model.

Charging time is an important factor for electric vehicle customers and the new smart electric drive also boasts major improvements here. All models have a new, powerful on-board charger as a standard feature. In the U.S., charging time is an estimated 2.5 hours – twice as fast as the predecessor. With the "smart control" app the charging process can be conveniently monitored from afar and many more functions, such as intelligent charging, can also be controlled remotely.

The smart fortwo electric drive models are series produced at smart’s Hambach plant. The smart is equipped with a battery from the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE. The company based in Kamenz, Saxony has been building the electric heart of the smart electric drive since 2012.

An 80 hp electric motor works at the rear of the smart electric drive and transmits its power via a constant ratio to the wheels. Powerful torque of 118 lb-ft is immediately available from a standstill, a 19% increase over the 96 lb-ft offered by the previous generation smart ED. The electric drive has a range of approximately 99 miles (Euro NEDC cycle) – ideal for emission-free mobility in urban areas. The maximum speed is electronically limited to 81 mph to maximize the range. U.S. range and overall electric motor specifications will be announced at the time of launch.

2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive High Resolution Exterior
- image 689174

Thanks to the power characteristics of the electric motor, the smart needs just one single fixed gear ratio. There is no need for any gear changing – a major advantage in dense city traffic. To reverse, the engine’s direction of rotation changes.

In addition to the basic transmission mode, the driver can select ECO mode. This is designed for a particularly efficient driving style. In addition, the maximum speed is limited, the accelerator pedal curve adjusted and the maximum recuperation level is pre-selected. In overrun mode or when braking, the vehicle’s kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy – this is called recuperation.

To save energy and extend the range, the smart electric drive also features pre-entry climate control. For example, this enables the desired temperature to be reached in the interior while the vehicle is still charging at a socket.

With the "smart control" app, lots of electric drive information can be called up via smartphone, tablet or PC and functions such as pre-entry climate control or intelligent charging can be conveniently controlled remotely. The new model has more operating options than the predecessor. For example, two programmable departure times mean that intelligent charging and pre-entry climate control do not always need to be reset for frequent journeys.

The smart electric drive models surpass the extensive standard equipment of their siblings with conventional drive as they additionally have a dashboard instrument with power meter and battery status display (standard) or on request the winter package with heated steering wheel for maximum climate comfort (optionally available). The electric drive design package (optionally available) gives the vehicle an expressive look with tridion safety cell and door mirror caps painted in exclusive electric green.

After the world premiere in Paris, the new smart fortwo electric drive will be launched in the U.S. in spring 2017 and the smart fortwo cabrio electric drive in summer 2017.

Electric history at smart

With the start of the first electrically driven test fleet in 2007 in London, smart also took on a pioneering role in the field of electric mobility when 100 smart fortwo electric drives took to the roads of the British capital with great success.

As early as 2009 smart launched the second generation of the smart fortwo electric drive, with the model being introduced in 18 markets. The objective was to gather as much experience as possible about how customers use and charge electric vehicles. The huge demand exceeded all expectations. Instead of the planned 1,000 vehicles, more than 2,000 smart fortwo electric drives were produced in Hambach.

2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive High Resolution Exterior
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From June 2012 the third generation of the smart fortwo electric drive also succeeded in winning wide-ranging buyers for its innovative and forward-looking drive concept. Moreover, in 2013 the smart fortwo was the first all-electric vehicle from a European importer in China. In Germany, the electric smart established itself as the market leader among battery- electric vehicles within a very short space of time with a market share of around 40 percent and was able to maintain this position for three years in a row.

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