The first impression: Yesterday was cute – even the cute Smart is now trying the evil eye.
The manufacturer says: Smart brand boss Daniel Lescow no longer wants to do things by halves. “We are the first manufacturer to completely and consistently switch to exclusively electric drives”, he praises his company. The pioneering role is typical of Smart, according to Lescow. How to proceed with the brand is an exciting question. Daimler has founded a joint venture with the Chinese giant Geely and is transferring responsibility for the successor model to the new partner. Within two years, the partnership should result in a new miniature electric car that can also score in China in terms of price and performance.
We noticed this: When Smart introduced the first electric version of the Smart in 2007, the car, which was as quiet as it was powerful, was another, well, small sensation. 13 years later, electric drives are almost normal, no one is surprised how quickly such a Stromer buzzes away and how quietly driving a car is suddenly. And you hardly pay attention to the range, at least in the cities – because there are now enough charging stations.
But a few details still make the E-Smart special today. The silence is all the more striking because the three-cylinder petrol engines in the rear of the combustion smarts have so far been pounding in an unappealing manner. And the agility and sprint strength of the Smart EQ are further enhanced by the tiny turning circle: All in all, this results in a completely unfamiliar driving experience – especially in a convertible with an open top and dismantled roof struts.
To do this, the E-Smart lags behind the competition in other disciplines. Not only the range is modest with almost 160 NEDC kilometers, but also the charging capacity. It takes 40 minutes to charge the small battery from 10 to 80 percent. And only with a 22 kW charger, which is an extra and costs almost 1000 euros. The drive control is also kept simple: there are only two operating modes to choose from, in which you hardly notice a difference. The driver cannot influence the strength of the recuperation either. The Smart offers very limited one-pedal driving, so popular with electric car users, in which the car decelerates via energy recovery if you only take your foot off the accelerator. After all, he uses the radar in the bow to automatically brake on the person in front.
Despite the facelift, the car looks a bit dusty. In particular, the analog instruments and the touchscreen next to it seem to have fallen out of time, but the digital services that Smart has developed are quite unrivaled: Finding a parking space, which is anyway easier with the Smart than with all other cars, is even easier because of the Smart app now calculates the probability of a free parking space on the roadside and offers a real-time occupancy display for car parks And because the car can be opened and started using a code on the smartphone, you can also share the car with family and friends.
You have to know: The revised Smart will go on sale in February, and because the car has changed very little, prices have remained the same: the two-door Fortwo is available from 21,940 euros, the Fortwo Cabrio from 25,200 and the four-door Forfour from 22,600 euros.
In all three models, the electric motor delivers 60 kW and a maximum torque of 160 Nm. The storage capacity of the battery is 17.6 kWh. For comparison: in the Mercedes GLE Hybrid, the electric drive has 100 kW and the battery 31.2 kWh. The driving performance of the Smart is modest, but it is always sufficient for a real city car: the Smart accelerates from 0 to 60 km / h in 4.8 seconds, the top speed is limited to 130 km / h. The range is at best at 159 kilometers.
We will not forget that: The imitation wood in the cockpit of the test car. Because as forward-looking as the brand is and as loudly it propagates the departure into a new era – it does look a bit retro.