Smart Electric Drive ForTwo & ForFour At The Paris Motor Show

8 months ago by Mark Kane 20

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman oft he Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars at the world premiere oft he new smart electric drive family.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars at the world premiere oft he new smart electric drive family.

Smart unveiled it new family of electric cars this week from Paris, and become the first brand to offer all the models (all 3 of them) in conventional ICE versions and all-electric versions.

smart electric drive forfour

smart electric drive forfour

  • smart electric drive fortwo
  • smart electric drive cabrio
  • smart electric drive forfour

Some of the changes for the generational switch-over for the smart EDs:

  • 60 kW electric motors from Renault
  • 17.6 kWh batteries with LG Chem li-ion cells
  • all-new design
  • new model smart electric drive forfour based on the Renault Twingo (joint project with Renault)

Disappointing of course, is that smart didn’t increased battery capacity for its cars – resulting in an only marginal range improvement via new efficiency.  We suppose this is a result of the brand’s “city driving” status, and lets the MSRP pricing stay low.

Daimler states that the new smart ED will travel up to 160 km/100 miles (NEDC), which is a 10% improvement over the current generation in Europe; translating that to a real world/EPA metric, the 2017 smart ED will get about 75 miles of range as compared to the 68 miles found in the first generation model.

Both the two and four seat Electric Drive will be available in early 2017 for Europe (mostly – the UK has to wait until the 2018 model year for RHD version), while the two seat ForTwo ED arrive in the US in December.

smart electric drive fortwo, forfour and cabrio

smart electric drive fortwo, forfour and cabrio

The data for the new smart electric drive at a glance:

smart electric drive fortwo fortwo
cabrio
forfour
Motor Separately excited three-phase synchronous motor
Battery Lithium-ion battery
Battery capacity (kWh) 17.6
Output electric motor (kW/hp) 60/81
Torque electric motor (Nm) 160
Efficiency class A+
Acceleration
0-100 km/h (s)
11.5 11.8 12.7
Range NEDC (km) 160 155 155
Maximum speed (km/h) 130
Charging time, 20-100% at a household socket (h) 6 (WEU/UK), 13 (USA)
Charging time, 20-100% Wallbox (h) 3.5 (WEU), 2.5 (UK/USA)
Price1 from (euro) 21,940 25,200 22,600

1Recommended retail price for Germany incl. 19% VAT.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman oft he Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars at the world premiere oft he new smart electric drive family.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars at the world premiere of the new smart electric drive family.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman oft he Daimler Board of Management and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars at the world premiere oft he new smart electric drive family.

New lineup of smart Electric Drive vehicles

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20 responses to "Smart Electric Drive ForTwo & ForFour At The Paris Motor Show"

  1. FFE1 says:

    I have always had a problem with smart cars I that their seems to be no real benefit to their size other that maneuverability. The first iteration never got super good mileage and this iteration has lackluster range.
    When is the 200 mile range model coming out?

    1. Yogurt says:

      The Smart was designed first and foremost for Europe where they have narrower streets and drive smaller cars in general…

      The first gen was kinda funny in that a tiny little car did not get great gas mileage…

      This is the prototypical city car so it does not need more range or the price and weight increase that would come with it…

      1. wavelet says:

        It does need more range… Particularly for the price. City cars don’t need to hit 200mi (EPA), but they should be able to reach 100mi (at least in the city number — aerodynamics matter very little there).

        And contrary to what folks in the US may think, the Smart cars (ICE or EV) aren’t really popular anywhere — they never sold anywhere near what M-B hoped — and AFAIK, Mercedes still hasn’t made any net profit on them
        http://www.eagleaid.com/AID-Newsletter-preorder-1511preview-f-Mercedes-Smart-subsidiary-has-stopped-losing-money.htm

        They’re simply a bad deal compared to the many other small models on the market.

        1. sven says:

          In NYC, I see plenty more smart cars than EVs. I’d say about a ratio of 10 to 1.

          1. wavelet says:

            That’s because no other Smart-class cars are sold in the US, except the i-MiEV & Fiat 500.

            Renault Twingo (basically the same car, but smart FF costs 20% more), VW Up!/Seat Mii/Skoda Citigo, Peugeot 108/Citroen C1/Toyota Aygo, Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto (best selling car in my country), Ford Ka, and of course the many Japanese Kei-cars.

            If they were sold in the US, many if not most Smart sales would disappear.

            True, there’s no modern equivalent 2-seater, but if there was a significant market for 2-seaters, other carmakers would be offering them — they don’t.
            I think the reason’s pretty clear: The FourTwo is rather an inflexible car. I visited a friend of mine in Berlin a few years ago, who works for Daimler. Her company car at the time was a FourTwo (it’s an E-class by now (-: ). When she picked me up at the airport, my medium-size suitcase (for a week’s stay) fit in the back, but there wasn’t additional room for two bags of groceries — one had to go on my lap. It was a comfortable car, sure, but simply not practical. There’s no backseat you can put stuff on to or fold to get more space… I can’t see it carrying enough luggage for a long weekend for a couple…

        2. Yogurt says:

          I agree a city car could use up to 100 miles but I dont think it is worth more cost…

          Any car made by Mercedes is not going to be cheap compared to the competion but it has found its place even if its place is as small as the car…

          Your link says they are now making money but doesnt say how much which probably means not much…

          “The Mark II Smart is now on the road, made in partnership with Renault of France to cut costs, and according to Smart CEO Annette Winkler the car is contributing positively to Mercedes’ bottom line.”

          1. wavelet says:

            The current version isn’t really Mercedes, quite. The Smart version (ForFour & ForTwo)
            are a cooperation with Renault. The ForFour has the same platform and ICE drivetrain as the Twingo, although body & interior are different (both are produced in the same Renault factory in Slovenia).

            The ForTwo is also a cooperation with Renault, has 70% parts commonality with Twingo (incl. engine), but built in an M-B owned factory in France — there’s no 2-seater Renault city car.
            The electric Smart uses the Zoe motor, sourced from Renault.

            Re the profit question:
            As of 3 years ago the project lost $4.6B for Mercedes (the greatest loss of any automotive company on any project ever). They definitely didn’t recoup all that in the 1.5 years until the statement in the link was made.
            What the statement in my link says is that the new-gen Smarts — the Renault-cooperation ones — have a current operating profit, but that’s not the same thing.

        3. Just_Chris says:

          The smart forfour and the roadster where a bad idea. The forFour was just a c**p car and the roadster leaked. Most of the losses at Smart were from those 2 models which flopped spectacularly. The fortwo is reasonably popular and profitable. The EV version is, like most EV’s currently in the market, over priced as the car companies try to gouge back R&D costs.

          There is almost no other car in the market that shows just how perverse and corrupt the way we talk about cars is. I’ve owned a lot of different cars and the Smart ForTwo that I owned was light years ahead in fuel economy and I mean ACTUAL economy. Day to day driving in real conditions the Smart was far better than the Diesel focus I had which would only come close to its stated mpg on a motorway trips even though the 2 vehicles were close on paper there was just no comparison in reality. Similarly all the other important car metrics spouted by car journalists and people discussing cars are bad for a Smart car but not a problem in reality.

          Examples:

          The 0-60 is really slow. This is true but the car is geared to be nippy in traffic which means it is geared incorrectly for a 0-60 dash. (N.B. the gear box was and I understand still is awful)

          The car is too small. Not really it has no back seats the rest of the car is a fairly normal size the driver and passenger do fine. The reduction in width is fine because their is no transmission tunnel.

          It’s a death trap because its small, really? despite being on sale since 1996 there is no evidence of increased injury or death in Smart cars.

          It has a short wheel base so handles badly….. on a track its a dream in a multi-story car park.

          It’s no good on the Freeway. I drove 60,000 miles in our smart car including trips from the South of England to the highlands of Scotland it is fine on the freeway even in reasonably high winds.

          The wheels are too skinny. Why? the car only weighs 700kg why do you need thick wheels.

          It looks funny…… WTF because a land rover in South Kensington is sexy?

          I have no problem with people saying the Smart car isn’t right for them but they are a really good car for a city which happens to be where a lot of people drive.

          I would have liked to see a fast charge option on the EV as most people will drive the EV further occasionally and, as stated above, the price is too high but apart from that this is a pretty good option for someone who lives in or near London, Paris, Birmingham, etc.. Yes if you have 4 kids and a St Bernard it is no good but you are the minority not the millions of single people, young child free couples, retires and 2nd car drivers.

      2. ffbj says:

        I think that was the idea. Building a city runabout. Apparently the ev version is much better, smoother ride.

        1. Yogurt says:

          The first gen model was supposed to have a very clinky auto transmission…

          If the length was any shorter you could probably pull in woth the front end to the curb in parrel parking spots…

    2. sven says:

      No real benefit to their size? They’re great for finding a street parking spot in a densely populated urban area, the bane of many city drivers.

      1. wavelet says:

        While you certainly have a point (it’s the shortest car sold, at least in developed countries. I think the next shortest is the (discontinued?) Toyota iQ (a.k.a. Scion iQ in the US), which is 30cm/16″ longer, and is a 4-seater.
        However, the pics aren’t of a densely populated area by far (-; There would be easily room for cars longer by 60-70cm — all the 4-seater city cars I mention above.

        Where I live, the usual spacing between two cars parked curbside is 4-5 inches, not 1-2 feet.

  2. WARREN says:

    Their bug eyed headlights remind me more of a Mini Cooper in design now. I think the previous headlight design blended in better.

  3. Absidu says:

    I don’t see how they’re gonna sell this equal to previos generation car, while everyone’s upgrading. Even the price (they promised to reduce it) is not that cheap.

  4. VazzedUp says:

    SmartForFour = The real size of a mini, not the juggernaut that BMW has bred.

  5. speculawyer says:

    Meh. These are good EVs for 5 years ago.

    But now . . . they just can’t compete. Battery is too small, terrible aerodynamics, not good looking, not inexpensive, etc.

    Yeah, if you need a tiny car for easy parking I can see it. The only other redeeming quality is that the Cabrio is the only EV convertible available right now.

  6. arne-nl says:

    The 17.6 kWh battery for the ForFour ED is a massive disappointment.

    There are hardly any ‘strict’ city cars here, all cars have to be all-round performers. Meaning they have to capable of more than shopping or visit to a restaurant (things we preferably do on a bicycle anyways). They must also be suitable for longer trips in the weekends or longer commutes.

    The ForFour ED is dead in the water. A waste of engineering and R&D money. They’ll have trouble recouping the cost.

    1. seth says:

      Let’s welcome the 2017 incarnation of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Because we (still) think you want to spend 23k euro on a city car with 60 miles EPA range.

      Disclaimer, I drive a i-MiEV.

      So we’re effectively 6 years further in time and we still ship it with 17kWh batteries. Did we learn nothing over the past 6 years?

    2. speculawyer says:

      Yeah, Daimler has certainly screwed up their plug-in plans.

      They’ve moved past their Tesla-helped B Class compliance car . . . into weak sauce.

      Underbatteried pure EV Smart cars. And high-end mercedes PHEVs also with batteries that are too small and getting crushed by Tesla. Big fail for Daimler-Benz.

  7. Bill Howland says:

    If the car will finally charge up in 2 1/2 hours in the states, they must have finally gotten rid of those 3.0 – 3.3 kw class chargers and went with a 7 kw class model.

    In the states, most homes and the majority of public ‘level 2’ ‘hitching posts’ are of the 6-7 kw class. When out and about 6 kw doesn’t sound like much – but if you can get an additional 10 miles for an hour of charging that will make more routine trips possible within the range of the car.