Smart was one of the first mainstream automakers to introduce an electric car when it launched its original ForTwo Electric Drive last decade.
Now it’s become the first to offer a lineup of cars that offers the choice of internal combustion or electric power.
That’s right. Smart has electrified its entire lineup, which means the ForTwo and ForTwo Cabrio (as well as the ForFour sold overseas) will be available with electric power. This also means that Smart is the first mainstream automaker with an electric convertible in its fleet.
2017 Smart ForTwo Cabrio Electric DriveEnlarge Photo
The Electric Drive versions debut September 29 at the 2016 Paris auto show and have been confirmed to reach local showrooms by spring 2017. (Pricing information will be announced closer to the market launch.)
The cars feature identical electric drive systems, in this case a single motor mounted at the rear delivering 80 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of instantaneous torque. Acceleration is brisk at city speeds but may not be adequate for long stints on the highway. For example, you’re looking at 0-60 mph acceleration in more than 11 seconds and a top speed of 81 mph.
The battery is a 17.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion unit, which Smart estimates is good for 99 miles of range. Of course, this figure will depend largely on your driving style and how much brake energy recovery is used.
2017 Smart ForTwo Electric DriveEnlarge Photo
Smart is including a high-speed charging feature for 240-volt outlets as standard in the United States. It means a recharge will only take around 2.5 hours, which is twice as fast as the previous model. An ordinary 110-volt outlet will require around 22 hours for a recharge.
The transmission is a single-speed unit and drive is to the rear wheels only. An “Eco” mode helps maximize range by limiting the top speed, muting acceleration and turning brake energy recovery to max.