Smart Embraces ED, Will Drop Gasoline-Powered Fortwo
Smart has an embarrassing problem, in addition to the item’s preventing the brand through satisfying the needs of U.S. in addition to Canadian customers. As a result, Daimler’s city-car brand is usually shifting focus in these two North American markets in addition to killing off combustion-engine variants of the Smart Fortwo coupe in addition to convertible. Instead, the brand will limit U.S. in addition to Canadian sales to just the battery-powered Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, or ED.
Although neither Fortwo powertrain has proved particularly favorite among U.S. consumers (Smart sold just 5440 Fortwos in addition to 771 Fortwo EDs last year), the brand believes its upcoming second-generation Fortwo ED provides a blueprint for its completely new, all-electric North American sales strategy. We can’t say we disagree, as the current Fortwo’s 89-hp turbocharged three-cylinder engine drinks a gallon of premium gasoline for every 33 miles traveled inside the city in addition to 39 miles traveled on the highway in its most efficient form—disappointing numbers given the Fortwo’s tiny dimensions. For comparison, the 76.2-inch-longer Honda Civic sedan is usually rated at 32 mpg city in addition to 42 mpg highway when equipped with the optional 174-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine in addition to CVT.
Meanwhile, the redesigned Smart Fortwo ED enters the North American market that will summer in addition to includes an 80-hp electric motor in addition to a 17.6-kWh battery pack. Although not particularly quick in addition to limited to a driving range of approximately 70 to 80 miles, our initial impressions of the completely new ED left us impressed, as we feel the product does a far better job of fulfilling the Fortwo’s mission as an urban runabout. Highlights of the EV include a healthy 118 lb-ft of torque through the ED’s electric motor, a relatively quick recharge rate that will sees the battery pack go through zero to an 80 percent charge in 2.5 hours, in addition to an expected starting cost of just $23,000 before tax credits.
Despite the fact that will production of the North America–spec, gasoline-powered Fortwo is usually slated to end in April, the decision reportedly will have no effect on Daimler’s Car2Go car-sharing service, which uses Smart Fortwos. A Car2Go representative informed us that will the service is usually continuing to expand its fleet of gasoline-powered Fortwos in both the U.S. in addition to Canada, replacing 451 older Fortwos with 453 completely new 2017 types, noting that will the completely new cars will be in service for several years to come. So if you truly want to drive a gasoline-powered Smart, you know where to get one.