2017 Smart Fortwo EV will be more electric and more affordable

Last Updated: June 3, 2017By Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Pricing and update information for the 2017 Smart Fortwo electric drive coupe and cabrio is finally out. The coupe will start at $24,550, the cabrio at $28,750. Both prices are before any local EV incentives or rebates are applied. This is a $1,200 drop from the outgoing model — not a huge chunk of change but still welcome. More pertinent than the price for fans of Mercedes’ small EV are the technical updates to the coupe and cabrio.

The 2017 model offers a more powerful electric motor, faster AC charging time and a longer range

The 2017 model offers a more powerful electric motor, faster AC charging time and a longer range. The Fortwo will now churn out 80 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque, compared to 74 hp and 96 lb-ft of torque found in the outgoing model, while offering a range of 70 to 80 miles on a full charge — the departing model had a full-charged range of 68 miles. The Fortwo can now also be juiced up in 2.5 hours, which is about half the time the outgoing model required to get from 0 to 80 percent charge. Top speed will climb from 78 mph to 81 mph, though we suspect a mighty tailwind can also help. Characteristics such as the turning radius have also been (incrementally) improved: Mercedes was able to shave 5.9 feet from the turning radius of the Fortwo, which is now down to 22.8 feet. In all, a collection of small improvements for a small car.

Will the Smart Fortwo’s max range of 80 miles still be relevant in 2017? In short time, the Fortwo will face competition from a new and updated Nissan Leaf, with the $35,000 Tesla Model 3 also expected to upstage the Fortwo and perhaps just about everything else that’s electric and that will land on store shelves this year. The small EV will face stiffer competition from the Chevy Bolt and the Nissan Leaf than it will from the 215-mile Model 3, but Mercedes is realistic about the niche the Fortwo occupies: purely urban electric driving with about half the footprint of other EVs. We’ll see if this will be enough in the (pardon the pun) long run, but Mercedes is still restricted by the Fortwo’s size — a significantly larger battery just isn’t in the cards.

The 2017 Fortwo EV will be on sale this summer.


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