posted 6 years ago

Smart Fortwo Electric Drive coupe 55

Living in a city, I have always associated the Smart Fortwo with being able to park in spaces that wouldn’t even fit a bike.

Living in a city, I have always associated the Smart Fortwo with being able to park in spaces that wouldn’t even fit a bike. Introduced back in 1998 the rear-engined two-seater has become a hit the world over. They’ve even been raced on circuits, much to the amusement of hardcore race fans.

So there was no surprise that an electric version would be made to entice ‘smartie’ owners or new buyers to the ‘green’ way of thinking. In development since 2007, the Fortwo EV is due for release in spring next year as a third generation of this model. Now room might be limited as it only carries two people, but its quirky looks and diminutive size win you over. The crystal white paintwork with the added vibrant green exterior mirrors, body panels and interior features, definitely stands you out from other electric vehicles, but how does it fare out on the open roads?

Switching it on and silence follows. It does make you wonder if it’s actually working, there is no sound from it at all. But put it into drive with the Softouch automatic gear stick and away you go.

First impressions weren’t so great and that was nothing to do with the electric element of the car. The car’s short wheelbase, the extra weight of the battery result in a very uncomfortable ride and heavy steering. As it was my first time driving a Smart I was disappointed.

But that aside, electric is the way forward for this pint-sized car as it pleasantly surprises you. A 17.6 kWh Lithium-ion battery from Deutsche ACCUmotive powers up the Fortwo generating 74hp, once you put your foot down you’re off. It makes a change to the usual sluggishness you expect from environmentally friendly cars. It got up to 70mph quite easily, its top speed being 78 and has an impressive 0-62mph with 11.5 seconds for this type of car.

There was a slightly high-pitched whine at higher speeds, which reminded me of taking off in a jet. With a 90 mile range, city users can zip through the streets not panicking at the thought of running out of juice. And a clever Smart Drive iPhone linked to the car will keep a check on the battery status, whilst making sure you know where the nearby charging points are, should you need to give it a quick boost.

With the retractable boot folding down to reveal a space for the plug, you can in effect drive it home and plug it in. Fully charged would take around 10 to 12 hours.

Prices are to be confirmed and will be around the £15,000 mark. If you’re a fan of the brand, want something zero emission free, then this Fortwo is a smart move.