2011 Smart fortwo electric drive Auto Review

17 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2011 Smart fortwo electric drive Auto Review отключены
Smart electric drive

2011 smart fortwo electric drive

Battery-powered two-seat smart e joins original gasoline-engine model

James M. Flammang on 02.04.2011

2011 smart fortwo electric drive Microcars have long been common in much of the world. Several decades ago, quite a few even made a stab at the American market. None of them lasted long, and few attempts at a resurgence have occurred in recent years.

Then came the smart car. Introduced in Europe and elsewhere as early as 1999, the smart fortwo soon became an undersized icon of sorts. Smart cars entered the Canadian and Mexican markets, but the only ones to reach American buyers were European models converted by the Zap organization, placed on sale in 2005.

All-Electric smart fortwo

Officially named the smart fortwo electric drive, the new battery-powered model is a full-electric with what the company calls phase 2 technology. Brand manager Marc Langenbrinck advised that, smart has always stood for sustainability, adding that the new smart electric drive is probably the true nature of the smart fortwo. He sees the electric smart not only as a geopolitical game-changer, but as a catalyst for discussion, in the United States, of a comprehensive energy plan.

Langenbrinck noted that electricity is diverse and domestic [and] there is spare capacity on the nation’s grid to keep these vehicles charged.

smart fortwo electric drive Test Drive

Rated at 20 kilowatts, the electric motor has a kickdown that boosts it to 30 kilowatts when needed. Rather than the automated-manual transmission employed by the gas-engine fortwo, the battery-powered model has a transmission with a single gear ratio. Naturally, performance is modest, with acceleration to 37 mph taking a leisurely 6.5 seconds.

A 3.3-kilowatt onboard charger works with the Lithium Ion battery, which is rated at 16.5 kilowatt-hours.

Because the smart electric drive model has no gear changes, it’s a step ahead of the gas-engine version with its lurchy automated manual transmission. That makes it markedly more enjoyable to drive than the gas model. Though overall acceleration is mild, the smart electric drive takes off from a stop with some assertiveness.

Smart electric drive

Quite a loud whistle is evident even when accelerating only a little, but it quiets down while cruising.

Clearly firm, the suspension deals acceptably well with moderate bumps, but big ones produce quite a ruckus. Maneuvering smartly and benefiting from quick steering, the smart car is just the ticket for crowded city streets. Brakes don’t feel quite as confident, as the driver must get used to a different pedal feel. Ample glass area provides good visibility, but the mirror’s view directly aft is somewhat constricted.

Charge/Discharge and State of Charge gauges are oddly plopped atop the dashboard, but they’re easy to read and not really in the way.

Driving a gas-engine model demonstrated that the lurchy transmission hasn’t disappeared by any means, but it’s not quite as annoying as in the early smart cars. Judiciously light application of the gas pedal can keep it minimal; but a nasty jolt is still likely to appear at times, and you’re never unaware that its gear-changing deftness is suspect. At lower speeds, too, the gasoline engine emits a worrisome clatter.

This past October, 250 smart electric drive models-coupe and convertible-arrived at the 77 U.S. smart dealerships. After four years, all 250 will head back to the Daimler company. That’s because each one will be leased, not owned.

Available to both corporations and individuals, that four-year lease will cost a hefty $599 per month.

The smart electric drive will launch in five key locations: Portland, Oregon; San Jose, California; Orlando, Florida; Indianapolis, Indiana; and the I-95 corridor through Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts. For garage orphans who have no facility for charging, charge ports will be set up in parking structures, malls, movie theaters, and the like.

Smart electric drive
Smart electric drive
Smart electric drive
Smart electric drive
Smart electric drive

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