2018 smart fortwo electric drive cabrio


By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com / Photos Mercedes Benz US Press Information

For 2018, the smart electric drive makes opting into electric mobility easier than ever as it combines the unique agility of the fortwo with local emission-free driving, the ideal combination for urban and suburban mobility. Zero-emission driving fun can be experienced with the smart electric drive cabrio.

Exterior
The current 453 smart generation was introduced in the U.S. in 2015 in gasoline form and is characterized by a one-and-a-half box design an evolutionary development of the typical smart silhouette. The higher hood lends the smart a more grown-up and sportier character. The color contrast between tridion cell and body panels is another characteristic feature of the smart brand.

Short overhangs, a minimal length and a high steering angle are optimal prerequisites for ensuring that the smart models get around every corner and into every parking space. The smart fortwo electric drive sets a turning circle benchmark at 22.8 ft. from curb to curb that makes turning maneuvers extremely simple. The characteristic proportions offer outstanding visibility and maneuverability and, together with the rear motor, enable a comfortable amount of space for such compact dimensions.

The smart displays a friendly but self-assured face. A decisive feature of this friendly face is the signature smart grille with the large logo. The grille’s perforated structure results from a honeycomb pattern; in addition, the rhombic front lamps are truncated slightly at the top, producing an attractive sporty look. The U-shaped daytime driving lights add a characteristic design feature.


Interior
Loop is the designers’ name for the emotional sweep in the interior, embellishing the dashboard and doors. The sculptural dashboard itself consists of two sections, a bold and sensuous outer section which is covered with fabric, and a large, concave inner section incorporating the functional elements.

The dashboard and the door center panels feature extensive fabric coverings. This high-quality textile surface is very pleasant to the touch and is reminiscent of the mesh inserts in modern running shoes. The color and material concept under-scores the easy-going and charming character of the new smart generation.

The smart electric drive models surpass the extensive standard equipment of the outgoing gasoline models as they additionally have a dashboard instrument with power meter and battery status display. The optionally available Climate Package with a heated steering wheel ensures maximum climate comfort. The electric green tridion cell is exclusive to the electric drive, which gives the vehicle an expressive look.

In addition, the smart fortwo electric drive models have several special features such as the dashboard instrument with power meter and state of charge. It is next to the A-pillar trim on the dashboard. The electric power recuperated is displayed on the left side of the power meter and the electric power currently called up is shown on the right side. LEDs between the segments show the available power and power that can be called up. The battery charge status is displayed in the lower part of the dashboard instrument.


The smart fortwo cabrio is the only electric drive convertible
Three cars in one: at the touch of a button the smart fortwo cabrio is transformed from a closed two-seater into a car with a large sliding canvas sunroof, or a fully-fledged cabriolet with the soft top completely open. This enables the fresh air driving experience to be adapted to the weather or the driver’s mood. This flexibility offered by the tritop folding soft top and the removable roof bars is a special feature and not just in this segment. At the same time, the smart fortwo cabrio is the only true cabriolet in its vehicle class and as an electric drive the only electrically powered cabriolet worldwide.

The smart fortwo cabrio is clearly recognizable as a member of the smart family, the third model also embodies the smart design philosophy of FUN.ctional design, defined by two poles, the heart and mind. The design idiom is clear, purist and very progressive. This includes the typical profile with ultra-short overhangs, the clear lines, shapes and surfaces and, of course, the tridion safety cell.


Smart electric drive
Charging time is an important factor for electric vehicle customers and the new smart electric drive also boasts major improvements here. A standard feature on board all smart fortwo electric drive models is a 120V Level 1 household charging cable and rigid cable bag that is open at the back. The cable bag is accommodated in the luggage compartment on the right-hand side in the direction of travel. It is fastened in the luggage compartment with two quick-release fasteners, a retaining strap and Velcro strips and can be removed if necessary. The surface is made of stain-resistant material.

An 80 hp electric motor is situated 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. The electric drive has a range of approximately 70-80 miles ideal for emission-free mobility in urban areas. 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. The maximum speed is electronically limited to 81 mph to maximize the range.


Summary
The smart fortwo electric drive combines unique agility with local emission-free driving, the ideal combination for urban mobility, with an instantly available 118 lb-ft of torque, the electric car boasts exceedingly agile acceleration, especially at city speeds.

A fully charged battery has an EPA rating of 58 miles, making it ideal for urban and suburban use, the 7.2 kWh high-performance on-board charger, the smart electric drive can be charged up to twice as fast as the previous generation on a wall-box, in addition to the extensive standard equipment list, there are several option packages. For example, the Climate package with a heated steering wheel and additional door and floor insulation warms the driver faster and keep more heat in the car, which increases efficiency and range in cold weather.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $28,100.00, the one I drove included the Arm Rest ($100.00), Rear Park Assist ($250.00), Prime Package ($1,000.00), Climate Package ($200.00), Sport Package ($450.00), Smart Media System with JBL Sound ($1,780.00), Tridium Safety Cell in Graphite Grey Matte ($100.00), Titania Grey Matte Body Panels (450.000), and it came in at $33,180.00 including destination charges ($750.00).
mlezcano@carsntravel.com

Posted in CAR REVIEWS, Mercedes Benz.

Emilio Lezcano

Journalist - Editor - Photographer
Professional Race Car Driver