2016 Smart Electric Drive New, released

Smart has a seemingly aggressive strategy to attack the market in the next years. After announcing a ForFour Cabrio variant and confirming that an elongated version of the ForFour is being considered for the US market, it has recently been confirmed that an electric variant for the next generation of ForTwo and ForFour is in the workings.

2016 Smart Electric Drive front

2016 Smart Electric Drive Released and performance

This goes hand in hand with Daimler’s late announcement of a 100 million Euros investment in its German subsidiary Deutsche ACCUmotive to increase the production of lithium-ion batteries for “green” models. Deutsche ACCUmotive already manufactures batteries for the current ForTwo Electric Drive (released in 2013) and for several Mercedes hybrid vehicles, but there are probably new hybrid models to be released. For now Daimler only confirms that the Electric Drive version for the new Smart models is scheduled to be released in 2016.

Exact details about the performance of the 2016 Smart Electric Drive vehicles are not yet available, but they shouldn’t differ significantly from that of the current ForTwo Electric Drive. This vehicle has a magneto electric motor aided by a 17.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It is capable of 55kW (75hp), and a single charge can power the ForTwo Electric Drive for 90 miles. 0-62mph acceleration is accomplished in 11.5 seconds while top speed reaches 78mph (125km/h). These are very reasonable performance numbers for an ultra-compact electric car, but Daimler claims that the 2016 Smart Electric Drive models will surpass these numbers.

2016 Smart Electric Drive side

2016 Smart Electric Drive New

First presented to the world in past July, the new ForTwo and ForFour were developed in a joint effort with Renault. It has been reported that up to 70% of the parts will be shared with the third generation Renault Twingo. The new Smart models have a slightly more stylish exterior aesthetics compared to the previous generation – the front looks like a cross between a Fiat 500 and a Mini. Nevertheless, the overall look clearly belongs to the same family, for the new models share notable design characteristics that have come to distinguish a Smart: the essential safety concept built so successfully in previous models was maintained.

2016 Smart Electric Drive interior

2016 Smart Electric Drive Interior and exterior

The interior is protected against damage by a rigid shell – the Tridion Cell which not only ensures the safety of the passengers inside the cockpit, as it is the defining element of the whole exterior design of Smart vehicles. The new models employ a high percentage of high-strength steels and hot-formed steel for maximum rigidity. The interior, albeit updated, will also share the same distinctive look from the previous generation.

What really sets a 2016 Smart Electric Drive apart from other vehicles is its proficiency as a city dweller. In terms of turning radius, the new Smart ForTwo sets a new benchmark: 6.5 m (curb-to-curb) and 7.30 m (wall-to-wall). And the new ForFour can turn practically in the same space of the previous ForTwo (8.75 m wall-to-wall). The new 2016 Smart Electric Drive models will be the first mass produced electric vehicles by Smart (previous ones were produced in limited numbers), and they are set to challenge the competition in the skyrocketing market of supermini electric vehicles.

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