Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Third generation Smart Fortwo ditches Tesla powertrain, gains two wheeled cousin

By Dante Cesa posted Aug 17th 2011

Time and tide wait for no man, folks. Nearly nine months after delivering the first electric Fortwos tosnuggie-toting yanks, Daimler's gone and announced its faster and longer-lasting successor. It's not an entirely new car mind you, rather an extensive under the hood nip and tuck that replaces the Tesla powertrain with a more potent unit sourced from EM-motive. Up 34 horses from the previous model, the 74 horsepower EV now scoots from 0-60 in a "lively" 13 seconds -- a vast improvement over the 23.4 second (!) time of its predecessor. It's got a larger 17.6kWh battery pack too, which increases range a smidge to 87 miles. And this isn't another EV trial: it'll be produced in volume and sold (not leased) in 30 countries at an undisclosed price.

Joining the revised city dweller is the matching Smart Ebike. The electrically assisted bicycle gives meat bags a choice of four levels of laziness as it propels them 60 miles between charges. At €2,900 (or around $4,000) it's no bargain, but you didn't think transportational color coordination came cheap, did you? Expect more on both come September when they are officially unveiled at IAA Frankfurt.

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