2017 smart Electric Drive plugging in

2017 smart Electric Drive plugging in

The Smart Forfour electric drive will soon enter the market and it seems that Renault Twingo-based EV will be a much better value proposition than the two-seater. The Forfour ED has the same 60-kW electric motor and the same 17.6-kWh battery as the Fortwo ED, but it - surprise - comes with two additional seats that can be folded down to have bigger cargo capacity.

The range is about 155 km (96 miles), slightly lower than the Fortwo (the real-world distance should be around 75 miles, maybe). Size and weight also affect the acceleration a little but, but overall it's still an agile city car.

UK prices haven't been announced yet, but they are expected to be around £17,000 (over $21,000), after the £2,500 Plug-in Car Grant. A 17,000-pound price makes it a bit expensive, but it's less than other BEVs on the market aside from the Smart Fortwo ED (which will  be around £500 cheaper).

smart electric drive forfour

smart electric drive forfour

Here are some driving experience insights from Autocar's test drive:

"The steering, like the petrol car, is very light and lacks feel but it is at least precise. Although not quite as gobsmacking as the Fortwo, the Forfour still boasts a brilliantly tight turning circle of 8.65m which makes manoeuvers a breeze in town. The ride isn’t bone-shaking, but it is still unsettled. Having said that, firmer springs and dampers than the petrol Forfour, as well as that added weight, give it much better body control, and long stretches in town aren’t uncomfortable.

The brake pedal feel is a little spongey, but the off-throttle regenerative braking is effective. The car comes with an Eco mode that you can engage which limits its maximum speed, softens the accelerator pedal response and sets the regenerative braking system to maximum to eek out some extra miles of range. When left in standard mode the car uses radar sensors to judge how hard the regenerative braking should be when you lift off the accelerator, depending on the traffic around the car.

Out on the open road at faster speeds, the Smart is far less at home. It feels a bit underpowered, the steering doesn't weight up, and you get a fair bit of wind noise and road roar, but at slow speeds the cabin is a very serene and peaceful environment."

Smart Forfour electric drive quick specs:

  • 60 kW / 160 Nm separately excited three-phase synchronous motor from Renault
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 12.7 seconds
  • 17.6 kWh batteries with LG Chem li-ion cells
  • 155 km/96 miles (NEDC) range
  • 130 km/h (81 mph) top speed
  • based on the Renault Twingo (joint project with Renault)
Source: Autocar