The third-generation, 2012 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive ditches its 16.5-kWh Tesla-engineered battery pack in favor of a 17.6-kWh unit manufactured by Deutsche ACCUmotive and, in the process, gains a much needed boost in acceleration, top speed and a slight increase in range.
Scheduled to launch next spring, the 2012 Fortwo Electric Drive features an EM-motive 55-kW (74-horsepower) electric motor, a massive increase from the 30-kW (40-hp) unit found in the 2011 Fortwo electric. The boost in power means that the 2012 Fortwo Electric Drive can hit a highway-capable top speed of 74.6 miles per hour and scoot from 0 to 60 mph in less than 13 seconds. Though still lethargic, that 13-second time is a vast improvement over the estimated 23.4 seconds required for the 2011 Fortwo electric to wheeze its way to 60 mph. The third-gen 2012 dashes from 0 to 37 mph in five seconds flat, a useful 1.5-second improvement over the outgoing model.
The Deutsche ACCUmotive lithium-ion battery pack should enable the 2012 Fortwo Electric Drive to travel an estimated 86 miles between charges, up slightly from the 83-mile range of the outgoing electric two-seater. Smart says an empty-to-full charge takes approximately eight hours and that a quick-charge option exists for the third-gen electric.
In terms of styling, the 2012 Fortwo features an enlarged grille opening, stylish LED daytime running lights, wider door sills and some minor modifications to the rear.
Smart says production of the 2012 Fortwo Electric Drive will eventually hit a "five-figure number" and that the electric two-seater will be sold in at least 30 countries across the globe. Smart has yet to release pricing for its third-gen electric. Look for us to have more details on the Fortwo Electric Drive when it hits the stage during next month's Frankfurt Motor Show. Check out our high-res image gallery and the official press release after the jump.
Aug 16, 2011
Zero-emission motoring with even more driving fun – the third generation smart fortwo electric drive will be available from the spring of 2012. In total a five-figure number of vehicles will roll off the production line in Hambach, France. Following the huge success of the second generation, electric mobility will then become accessible to anyone interested in more than 30 markets worldwide. In the development of the new generation smart benefited from extensive experience and customer feedback gathered worldwide over the past years. Driven by a battery supplied by Deutsche Accumotive for the first time the 55 kW electric motor passes the 120 km/h mark. From 0 to 100 km/h in less than 13 seconds - even driving on urban motorways becomes enjoyable. The 17.6 kWh battery enables the lively city car to travel around 140 kilometres in city traffic without producing any local emissions.
"The smart fortwo has exceeded itself. It has always been a pioneer of urban mobility and with the new electric drive it is once again setting standards with even more driving fun and environmental compatibility," says Dr. Annette Winkler, Head of smart. "With the new generation the frequently cited "electric era" has finally arrived." For the further development of the smart fortwo electric drive the company was able to bring in extensive experience and customer feedback from various electric mobility projects. For example, this is reflected in clearly improved performance data. Driven for the first time by energy from a battery supplied by Deutsche Accumotive the 55 kW electric motor effortlessly passes the 120 km/h mark. The smart developers were also able to realise the more powerful acceleration requested by customers. From 0 to 100 km/h in less than 13 seconds - even filtering into traffic on urban motorways is a pleasure. The 17.6 kWh battery enables the lively city car to travel considerably more than 140 kilometres without producing any local emissions.
Ever since 1998 the smart has been revolutionising urban mobility like no vehicle before it. Compact, agile, environmentally friendly and stylish – it has evolved from a practical small car to a lifestyle product and has long become a familiar sight on the roads of cities around the world.
With the start of the first electrically driven test fleet in 2007 in London smart also took on a pioneering role in the area of electric mobility when 100 smart fortwo electric drives took to the roads of the British capital – with great success. Today the vehicle is a trendsetter and a synonym for forward-looking battery-electric-driven urban mobility of the future.
One of the largest electric fleets worldwide
With the introduction of the second generation in 2009 the smart fortwo electric drive was ready to take to the roads. The electrically driven avant-gardiste from Stuttgart was introduced in 18 markets. The objective of the second generation was to gather as much experience as possible about how customers use and charge electric vehicles. The huge demand exceeded all expectations. Instead of the planned 1000 vehicles more than 2000 smart fortwo electric drives are being produced in Hambach. This means that smart has one of the largest fleets of electrically driven vehicles on the roads worldwide and a trove of customer experience and wishes that have been input in the third generation smart fortwo electric drive.
A higher top speed and better acceleration at speeds above 60 km/h were right at the top of the customers' list of priorities.
Contrary to prevailing opinion the range wasn't the crucial point from the perspective of the test customers. The vast majority of users confirmed the results of surveys which say that people drive approximately 30 to 40 kilometres per day on average in urban areas and they expressed great satisfaction with the range of their smart.
Even better in the third generation
With total production amounting to a five-figure number, from the spring of 2012 the further developed smart fortwo electric drive will start winning wide-ranging buyers in more than 30 countries for an innovative and forward-looking drive concept.
The third generation smart fortwo electric drive features a 55 kW magneto-electric motor - the first product from the EM-motive joint venture founded together with Bosch - which ensures that it is as agile and lively as ever. With torque of 130 Newton metres it accelerates powerfully and immediately from 0 to 60 km/h in 5 seconds and thanks to better acceleration in the higher speed range it can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 13 seconds as it has much more tractive power than its predecessor. This makes for speedy driving and overtaking. The battery-electric two-seater smart fortwo now also has a higher top speed of more than 120 km/h, putting it on a par with the combustion-engined smart.
A battery supplied by Deutsche ACCUmotive is fitted in the new smart fortwo electric drive for the first time. With capacity of 17.6 kWh the lithium-ion battery from the joint venture with Evonik Industries provides for well over 140 kilometres of pollutant-free driving fun. In addition to the higher battery capacity clear improvements have been made to the efficiency of the drive system, resulting in a greater range. When completely empty it takes a maximum of eight hours to fully charge the battery at a household socket or charging station on the electricity systems of most countries i.e. overnight.
Quick charging in just one hour
For the greater freedom of quick charging it is possible to optionally equip the vehicle with a quick-charging function. The 22 kW on-board charger enables a completely empty battery to be fully charged in less than an hour. A power cable is needed for this which is used to connect the vehicle to a public quick-charging station or a wallbox at home or work.
A comparison of the two smart fortwo electric drive generations
> 2000 vehicles
Five-figure production volume
More than 30 markets
20 kW constant
30 kW peak
35 kW constant
55 kW peak
> 120 km/h
Acceleration 0 - 60 km/h
Lithium-ion battery from Tesla
Lithium-ion battery from Deutsche ACCUmotive
A fresh green and even more colours
With a larger radiator grille featuring the electric drive logo, stylish LED daytime driving lights below the headlamps, wider door sills and several modifications to the rear the new model is much more dynamic than its predecessor.
The new smart fortwo electric drive comes in all smart colours and colour combinations that are also available for the diesel and petrol models.
The new colour fresh green is a particularly visible manifestation of electric driving fun. In addition to crystal white bodypanels the electric drive design package comprises white alloy rims, a green tridion cell, green mirror caps and numerous green accents in the interior which form an attractive contrast to the black seats.
As to be expected the new smart fortwo electric drive features extensive equipment. A highlight is the fully automatic air conditioning with pollen filter and pre-air conditioning. As with the second generation the vehicle can be pre-cooled or pre-heated as required for a programmed departure time when it is connected to the power network. A new feature is the possibility to start the pre-air conditioning via the internet or a smartphone at any time. The standard equipment furthermore includes electric windows and electrically adjustable door mirrors, a leather steering wheel, leather gear knob, the entry line radio, power steering, 9-spoke alloy wheels and a luggage compartment cover. As with the predecessor model in addition to the standard solid roof a glass roof and a cabrio version are available. The trip computer – also a standard feature in the electric smart – shows journey information including the remaining range. And like the predecessor model the two round instruments show the charge status of the battery and the energy used and recuperated. In addition, the smart fortwo electric drive can be equipped with a navigation system and a 3-spoke leather steering wheel.
Clever app for infotainment with smartphones
smart is the first car brand to develop its own drive app for the iPhone®. Together with the smart kit and cradle for the iPhone®the cult phone becomes a multimedia trip computer that is optimised for the smart fortwo in terms of function and design. The smart drive app for the iPhone®has all the important features needed whilst driving: phone calls via hands-free system, your own extensive music collection, internet radio and a clever navigation system with a special smart touch. There are also smart extras – for example the Car Finder that will guide you back to wherever you parked your car.
The new smart drive app for the iPhone®is simple to operate and features extra-large buttons among other things. The new app makes urban mobility even easier and more fun - the declared objective of the smart philosophy.
Two new elements developed by smart make the two-seater car and the iPhone®a perfect team:
The smart cradle for the iPhone®with control unit and microphone serves as a stylish and functional holder. It charges the iPhone®and also functions as a hands-free system using the loudspeakers of the smart radio for sound output and automatically muting it when phone calls are made.
The smart drive app for the iPhone®is the world's first drive app on the market to be developed by a car brand. It combines all the features needed on the road in a single app. All the functions are extremely easy to use thanks to extra-large buttons and extra-large letters.
Always know how far you can go: connected services
The smart drive app for the iPhone®can be tailored to the smart fortwo electric drive with further functions. However, the current charge status or the SmartCharging charge configuration can also be conveniently controlled and managed via a web portal from a home computer or with any modern smartphone.
The Vehicle Homepage offers every third generation smart fortwo electric drive customer a chance to visualise the range on an interactive map with 3D views. All the destinations that can be reached with the current battery charge are displayed. The public charging stations within reach can also be seen at a glance. If a desired destination is further away than the available range the Vehicle Homepage can be used to quickly check the additional battery charge needed. Among other things the depiction of the range considers the topography and the route profile. The intuitive graphic depiction that can be combined with 3D views and satellite images is an attractive feature. Furthermore, the vehicle itself can also become active. Information on the charge status and range can be sent by email or Twitter messages for example. The driver is notified as soon as the desired range can be reached with the current charge.
The smart fortwo electric drive can be connected to the internet at home via a standard powerline adapter (Homeplug AV) for SmartCharging. After entering the planned departure time in the vehicle or the web portal the vehicle will be fully charged in a battery-saving and economical way, and pre-air conditioned if required so that it is ready to start. The pre-air conditioning can also be conveniently activated online shortly before setting off.