Smart will be showing off its revamped electric drive at the Paris Motor Show, now available on all three of its models.
The Smart ForTwo has a next-generation platform that will, for the first time, be extended over to the Cabrio and Smart ForFour models. The Daimler division says it will be the only global automaker in the world to offer its entire lineup with both combustion engines and pure battery-electric drive.
The U.S. will see the new Smart ForTwo coupe with electric drive starting in the spring of 2017, and the Smart ForTwo cabriolet variation will show up soon after in the summer. For some unstated reason, the Smart ForFour won’t be available in the U.S.; and pricing on the ForTwo models will be announced later.
Smart will be tapping into its fan base and small, nimble cars that can navigate through crowded cities. It makes for the “ideal city car,” according to Annette Winkler, who heads up Smart.
“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,” Winkler said in the press release.
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Competitive advantages being promoted by Smart include the Cabrio being the only electric cabriolet on the market. For all three models, the electric drive offers 118 lb.-ft. torque and 80 horsepower, which “boasts exceedingly agile acceleration,” according to the press release.
Smart said that the fully charged battery will be able to go 99 miles, or 160 kilometers, under NEDC guideless as used in Europe. The U.S. range and overall electric motor specs will be announced at the launch, the company said.
With a high-performance on-board charger, the smart electric drive can be charged in half the time that the first generation needed. According to the company, preliminary findings show 2.5 hours of U.S. charge times compared to 5.5 hours of charging for the previous generation.
The Smart ForTwo standard and cabriolet models will be launched first in the U.S. market. That may have had something to do with about a quarter of all the previous-generation ForTwo models sold in the U.S. being electric drive models.