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Smart fortwo ED (that’s the electric one) 3rd Gen in 2012

Tue, 16 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

2012 Smart fortwo ED

You’ve got to admire Mercedes for persevering with the Smart, despite not exactly setting the car sales charts on fire. Even braver is their faith in producing an electric Smart when electric cars are just not selling.

Still, their pockets are deep enough to play, so we’re to be treated to the third generation Smart EV with the arrival at Frankfurt next month of the 2012 Smart fortwo ED.

Despite taking a ten per cent stake in Tesla in 2009, Mercedes has sacrificed the Tesla electrics for a new set of batteries from Deutsche Automotive – a joint venture between Daimler and Evonik – and a more powerful electric motor from Bosch.

That change in powerplant translates in to a much more effective electric car. The Smart fortwo will now have peak power of 73bhp to play with (it had 40bhp before – about the same as a moped) and eight per cent more torque. That cuts its 0-62mph to under 13 seconds and increases top speed to 75mph.

The new batteries make a difference to range with Merce3des reckoning 87 miles. Which is unless it’s hot or cold or wet or dark or… They do say that although it will take eight hours to charge the batteries from a domestic socket, the fortwo ED can get a 100% fast charge from a high capacity charger. They fail to tell us how quickly doing that several times a day will knacker the battery.

Mercedes are planning on boosting production of the Smart fortwo ED from current levels of 2000 of the generation two to ‘seven figures’ with the generation three.

How they’re going to convince more than 10,000 people to buy one, at a probable £30k+, they don’t say.

(35 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

By Cars UK